Tuesday, September 03, 2013


News Links, August 31-September 4, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Markets Are Saying Economic Recovery Has Peaked
Europe Collapses To 2nd Worst Week In 11 Months
Unemployment Above 25% in Spain and Greece
Spain youth unemployment reaches record 56.1%
Eurozone crisis threatens Southern Europe's public goods
Crisis-hit southern countries are selling state-owned goods to reduce their budget deficits, with Spain mulling the privatisation of national heritage sites and Greece is under pressure to have historical buildings managed by a foreign holding company.
India pushes 'shock and awe' currency plan to save BRICS
India is pushing for joint "shock-and-awe" intervention by key developing states to halt capital flight and shore up currencies, in a move that risks backfiring and triggering a vicious spiral.
India could save $8.5 bln by buying extra Iranian oil - minister
Exploring the Impossible: India Seeks to Expand Trade in Rupees; India Stock Market Sinks; Rupee Decline Continues
Rupee's Plunge Prompts Refiner to Embrace Iran: Corporate India
India's factory output contracts as orders fall
For many Indians, overseas college degrees now unaffordable
India's rupee fall stuns middle class
India Manufacturing PMI Contracts for First Time Since March 2009; Eurozone Manufacturing PMI 26-Month High of 51.4
One Irish person emigrates every six minutes
Speedier clearances no magic wand for India's infrastructure logjam
GM sees auto industry slowing in turbulent Middle East
Singapore Stocks Worst in Developed World: Southeast Asia
Mexico sets 'crusade' to ease rural poverty, but will it work?
BRICS bank project struggles with 'difficulties'
Boeing, Airbus face new threat of low jet sales
Bailout creditors send inspectors to Portugal
America's Energy Boom and the Rising U.S. Dollar
Economics and War
Should U.S. intervention in Syria trigger a region-wide war in the Middle East which spreads to East Asia and the Pacific, involving Russia and China, expect the Obama administration to take charge of the U.S. economy and initiate a socialist war regime. This would be necessary not only because of an interruption of the flow of oil from the Middle East. It is part of the logic of major military emergencies. Expect widespread rationing, wage and price controls as well as inflation. Any major military conflict is likely to produce such a result as it has in the past, during two world wars.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Alitalia calls in boutique investment bank to advise on cash crisis
Italian airline, which has been bailed out repeatedly by the state, needs to raise more than €400m to stay afloat
The Unfriendly Skies
The truth is that our impoverished citizenry can no longer support the airline industry we once had.
How the Airlines Put the Squeeze on Passengers
If you want some insight into why the Department of Justice put a gate hold on the merger between American Airlines and US Airways, here's a number to ponder: 13 million seats—gone. That's how many airplane seats have disappeared over the past year—seats removed from the system by the airlines as they reduce capacity.
BTS: Jobs slump at US passenger airlines for tenth consecutive month
PIA's accumulated losses soar to Rs169 billion
Lufthansa CEO says summer freight business fails to pick up: paper
This just doesn't fly: Some airline pilots barely make living wage
Airports Authority of India cuts costs on falling revenues
The faltering economy, free-falling rupee and a massive hike in operating costs have forced the aviation industry to go for a major economy drive. The state-run Airports Authority of India (AAI) will from Monday begin an austerity drive, where foreign tours of senior officials and internal travels for training purposes will be slashed. Airlines are also looking at all steps to save money but say they are running out of options to further cut costs and warn of job losses in coming months if the bloodbath does not abate.
China's 4 major airlines post mixed profit results
Jet Airways set to increase air fare owing to rising jet fuel prices
Airline fares on fire as jet fuel prices head north
60 per cent of Iran's airplanes grounded
Aussie airlines feel the pressure as international competition strengthens
Loss-wary Saudia to skirt Arab Spring path
Garuda Indonesia Posts First-Half Loss as Finance Costs Soar

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Suez Canal Authority says attack attempted on container ship
Amid crackdown, Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood tries different tactics in protests
Rocket attack kills 15 militants in Sinai: Egyptian state TV
Hollande Undeterred By UK Shock: "France Will Participate. It Is Ready" For Syrian Attack
Sixth U.S. ship now in eastern Mediterranean 'as precaution'
USS Nimitz carrier group sails into Red Sea in 'prudent' move
And Another Deserts As NATO Says Obama On His Own
Saudi Arabia Goes To "DefCon 2"
USS Nimitz carrier group rerouted for possible help with Syria
Russia Sends Two Marine-Carrying Ships To The Mediterranean
Russia Has Equipped Syria With Their Most Advanced Anti-Ship Missiles
Syrians In Ghouta Claim Saudi-Supplied Rebels Behind Chemical Attack
KSA demands all-out efforts to save Syria
Who Benefits From A War Between The United States And Syria?
Jordan Prepares For Syrian Fallout; Places Air Force On High Alert
Saudi Prince Bandar in Egypt
In July, the US ordered a review of aid to Egypt, which has not been concluded yet, but which the media likes to think has already been decided in favor of halting aid to Egypt. But it doesn't matter. Saudi Arabia has already made it clear that it will make up for any aid Egypt loses. Riyadh has Egypt exactly where it wants it and will not relinquish it now. General al-Sisi is their man, as was former Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak, who is now being released.
Al Qaeda affiliate urges attacks on Egyptian army
U.S. Started Backing Syrian Opposition YEARS BEFORE the Uprising Started
Former Bush administration official: Israel may be behind use of chemical arms in Syria
Syria intervention plan fueled by oil interests, not chemical weapon concern
Unannounced Israel-U.S. missile test fuels jitters over Syria
'NYT' Cuts References to AIPAC in Syria Debate
Attacks killed 800 Iraqis in August: U.N.
Canadian Pacific navy fleet severely hampered without damaged ships
Egypt says preparing timetable for energy debts
Militants attack US base in Afghanistan, torch vehicles; 3 suspected militants killed
Human rights group warns of civil society crackdown in Azerbaijan
Russia, UAE, To Team Up To Build Helicopter Drones
China wants South China Sea solution but Manila sees worrying signs
Afghan forces suffering 'unsustainable' casualties, top Nato commander says
General Joseph Dunford, the highest US and Nato commander in the country, said that the security forces' weekly death regularly toll tops 100 and therefore they may need five more years of western support before they can fight independently.  
U.N. Chief: Use Of Force Is Only Legal In Self-Defense Or With U.N. OK
Jordanian airlines plane hijacked in Libyan capital
Top-secret U.S. intelligence files show new levels of distrust of Pakistan

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Alleged terrorist shown burned in the street as Iraq struggles to contain spiraling unrest
Colombian president calls out 50,000 troops after protests kill two
Attack on Syria? Protests Around the World
Hundreds of Iraqis protest against lawmaker privileges
Iraq unrest: Deadly car bombs rock Baghdad Shia areas
Thousands protest in Romania against shale gas, gold mine
Thousands of Islamists take to Egypt's streets

## Energy/resources ##
Enroute to the Stone Age: Electricity shortfall widens to 4,300 MWs and load shedding span reaches 12 to 14 hours (Pakistan)
Saudi Arabia made oil offer to Russia during Putin meeting: report
Rains still not enough, citizens facing acute water shortage (Pakistan)
Report: Renewable projects 'uphold occupation' in Western Sahara
China oil giant buys into strife-hit Egypt for $ 3.1 billion
Modeling Bakken Oil Production: The Oil Shock Model Explained
How Much Recoverable Oil Do We Have?
Essentially it is price that will decide what oil is recoverable, and what isn't. And we are already witnessing the effects of the energy price barrier as even the BRICs slow and governments go more deeply into debt. -- RF
Warning of challenges for UK oil sector from Wood Group
Mr Keiller said the industry has been too slow to change the way it operates over the past 10 years. During that time, the cost of extraction per barrel has risen four fold.
Chevron's oil production, sales decline 5 %
Brazil's July oil, gas output posts 16th decline in 17 months
Brazil's oil and natural gas output fell in July as production from new offshore fields declined, adding to more than a year of sluggish output caused by the decline of older areas and maintenance shut-downs.
What Syria tells us about world oil supplies
Analysis: EU coal demand starting decades-long slide
Booms strain on electrical grid continues (US)
We could soon be paying billions for this wind back-up (UK)
S.Korea to shut nuclear reactor for welding quality check
At the Wellhead: the latest field development to coax more oil out of the ground
US Water Lessons Applicable to Argentina Shale Development
Malaysia cuts subsidies on fuel
As helium supplies dwindle, costs going up, up, up
Tankers Worst Since 1997 on Africa Oil Slowdown to China
China's smallest oil imports from West Africa in at least two years are curbing demand for tankers on the second-longest trade route, prolonging the worst rates in more than a decade for Frontline Ltd. and other owners.
Blackouts Hit Half Of Venezuela After Transmission Line Failure
India likely to be the largest coal importer in 3-5 years
S.Africa Says Shale Gas Fracking Needs Water License
Who wins and who loses from rising production costs in the oil sands

## Got food? ##
Stink Bug Populations Could Harm Late-Season Harvests
Building a Drought-Proof Farm
59% of the 'Tuna' Americans Eat Is Not Tuna
Climate change 'driving spread of crop pests'
Pressure Canning Basics: Fearless Food Preservation

## Environment/health ##
Fracking Blamed For Widespread Death Of Federally-Protected Fish In Kentucky
South American countries gripped by snow
Fukushima's radioactive ocean plume due to reach US waters in 2014
Japan to begin producing vaccine for H7N9 bird flu
China 'Catastrophe' Hits 114 Million as Diabetes Spreads
Radiation Levels at Fukushima 18 Times Higher than Previously Thought
Chevron Natural Gas Pipeline Leaks in Gulf of Mexico: NRC Report

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
UK asked N.Y. Times to destroy Snowden material
NSA Spied On Al Jazeera Communications
NSA Targeted French Foreign Ministry
Revealed: NSA Hacked into Email, Phones of Latin American Presidents
'Black Budget' Revealed: A Detailed Look at US 'Espionage Empire'
Latest revelations made possible by Edward Snowden give unprecedented view of how taxpayer funds are use to "collect it all"
Report: Anti-drug agents involved in phone data spying
A report in The New York Times says that a secretive program, using subpoenas, run by federal and local drug enforcement officials in conjunction with telecom operator AT&T, collects more data on phone calls made by Americans than the National Security Agency.
'Gamification' and the Power Sector
It is often more profitable for companies to find ways to give customers status, access or power rewards through "game-like" platforms than to race to the bottom on price.
Leaked documents reveal US sees Israel as a spying threat (Video)
Microsoft, Google Say They're Moving Forward With NSA Lawsuit
Lockbox Aims to NSA-Proof the Cloud
Reddit Busted Censoring Alternative Media
It's bad enough that the government censors and manipulates social media. But Reddit, Facebook, Digg, Youtube and other social media sites have long censored content as well.
Vietnam internet restrictions come into effect
A controversial law banning Vietnamese online users from discussing current affairs has come into effect. The decree, known as Decree 72, says blogs and social websites should not be used to share news articles, but only personal information.
Gmail ban looms for Indian gov't workers
Declassified Documents Reveal CIA Role In 1953 Iranian Coup
Pro-Syrian group hacks U.S. Marines website
The US - alongside Saudi Arabia - fights for freedom and democracy in the Middle East
The ability to persuade people that the US opposes tyranny is a testament to the potency of propaganda
Indeed so, and regular readers will recall that I have said that the US has one of the most successful propaganda systems ever devised. -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
What To Expect During The Next Stage Of Collapse
Things to Know as Collapse Becomes Hip
If You Want To Know Why Things Are Falling Apart, Look at Total Debt
Modern civilization becoming increasingly vulnerable to natural disasters

## Japan ##
Abenomics Wins: Budget And Inflation Both Jump (Over The Cliff)
Abenomics Is Crushing The Japanese Worker
Monetary Base Hits All-Time High For 6th Month In Aug
Japan's monetary base expanded 42% on the year to 172.44 trillion yen in August, marking an all-time high for the sixth straight month, the Bank of Japan said Tuesday.
Japan Seeks to Hike Taxes then Waste Money on Stimulus to Make Up for Decline in Spending; Currency Crisis Awaits
Japanese companies using 'banishment rooms' to push employees to resign
Radiation at Fukushima spikes as Japan holds earthquake drill
Fukushima nuclear leak 'can get a lot worse'
Tanks said built in haste, bound to leak
Break the bank: Japan to fund costly ice wall around Fukushima reactors to stop radioactive water leaks
Japan's Nuclear Regulator Gives Nod to Dump of Toxic Water
Japan vows quick action, public funds for Fukushima
Oi No. 3 reactor to go offline, leaving just one online nationwide
Some food price hikes coming Monday
ANA cancels flights over error in records
Japan cracks down on 'black companies'
New Ph.D. holders finding tough job market awaiting them
Minicar output up 5.5% in July
Report: BOJ to to leave current monetary easing policy unchanged
Japan's military seeks big boost in defense budget
Adult diapers will soon outsell baby nappies in Japan
Japan's energy savior?
No. Clathrates will be a money-loser like shale gas. The resource quality is too low. -- RF

## China ##
Sany Heavy, A Chinese Rival Of Caterpillar, Says 1st-Half Profit Plunged Nearly Half
China's steel industry in crisis
China's iron and steel industry is looking down the abyss. Plagued by over-capacity and high competition, profits have plunged. Compounding the problem is a severe rise in levels of pollution.
China oil giant buys into strife-hit Egypt for $ 3.1 billion
China announces a 3% rise in fuel price amid rising tensions in Syria
Giant reality-check: Four of the world's biggest lenders must face some nasty truths
Ditch the stats: China retailers don't buy signs of recovery
Reality dawns on the China-growth myth
LDK's heavy losses drag on in Q2 2013
China Banking Regulator Warns of Rising Risks
Beijing to consider fees for car congestion

## UK ##
Two in three small shops on the brink, expert Bill Grimsey warns
UN victory grandmother attacks Alex Salmond over wind farms
A Scottish grandmother who this week won a landmark victory at the United Nations that could slow the spread of wind farms has delivered an outspoken attack on Alex Salmond.
British natural gas imports increasing
The British government reported the country is importing more natural gas to make up for declines from the North Sea.
Hot 2013 summer to join all time top ten, figures will show
Co-operative Bank loses £709m
Government let British company export nerve gas chemicals to Syria
Pizza shops, estate agents buying personal data for junk mail
Town halls have earned more than quarter of a million pounds selling personal details to pizza shops, estate agents and other firms who swamp millions of households with junk mail.
Potentially fatal 'never' errors double in year on NHS
London skyscraper glare blamed for melting car parts
Gas driller freezes plans in rural Britain after fracking protests

## US ##
Nuclear renaissance: More U.S. nuclear power plant closures to come?
Wall Street falls, ends worst month since May 2012
BofA Laying Off 1,000 in Ohio as Home Refinancing Demand Wanes -Report
25 Quotes About The Coming War With Syria That Every American Should See
Blackout Risk Tool Puts Price Tag On Power Reliability
San Bernardino Becomes 3rd California City to Get Bankruptcy Protection
40% of top-paid CEOs busted, bailed out or booted, study says
CEOs of U.S. large companies got about 354 times as much pay as the average American worker in 2012
S&P 500 Posts Worst Month Since May 2012 on Fed, Syria
Freedom Fries are Out - French Fries and French Toast Back In
Yeah, remember when French fries became "Freedom Fries"? One couldn't help but be astonished by the childishness of grown men. These are the people running the country. It's no wonder the US is going down the tubes. -- RF
Americans drive less even as economy rebounds
Road rage: States get creative to fund highways
U.S. third-quarter-growth forecasts get a haircut
Austin Lakefront Institution Closes Doors For Lack Of Water
Our Banks Own Airports, Control Power Plants and Much More
Giant bank holding companies now own airports, toll roads, and ports; control power plants; and store and hoard vast quantities of commodities of all sorts. They are systematically buying up or gaining control of the essential lifelines of the economy. How have they pulled this off, and where have they gotten the money?
Mexican drug cartel activity in U.S. said to be exaggerated in widely cited federal report
Trucker Shortage Worsens As Energy Sector Booms
Precious Metals Will Rise as the Economic Recovery Disintegrates
US Military Addicted to Energy
The U.S. is the strongest military power in the world and just like any other military in the world, energy, in particular energy derived from oil, is at the heart of that power. Oil accounted for almost 80% of total DoD energy consumption, followed by electricity, natural gas and coal in 2012.
Pension liability looms over U.S. states' economies: group
Public pension liabilities in five U.S. states could represent more than 40 percent of their local economies, according to an analysis released on Tuesday by a conservative group that lowered the assumed rate of return for pensions' investments.
'Back to school?' Why it pays to stay home: High costs, low wages have ended the college dream

And finally...
How much for a tooth? Tooth Fairy's doling out nearly $4 a tooth, a survey says
Dubai dieters trade fat for gold
Bird poop disables 25,000 traffic signals in Nagano (Japan)
Crocodile traps man on island for two weeks
Study: Goldfish listen to music, prefer Bach
I've always maintained that Bach is superior to Stravinsky, and the goldfish back me up. Do you need any more proof? -- RF

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