Sunday, September 22, 2013


News Links, September 21-23, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Mortgage Delinquencies Hit New Record High In Spain; Builder Default Rate Hits 29%; Recovery? Really?
Forget the taper – QE can never end
"Don't Taper Me, Bro" - Caterpillar Global Sales Drop At Fastest Pace Since March
Rusal Exec: World Aluminum Supply Needs 40% Cut
A senior executive of the world's largest aluminum producer, Russia's Rusal, has said that 40% of global aluminum production is unsustainable at current prices.
Taxis Vanish in Rain as Singapore Gets Congested: Southeast Asia
Turkey 'will probably never be EU member'
Venezuela seizes toilet paper factory to avoid shortage
This is reminiscent of Japan's "toilet paper panic" of October 1973, which was triggered by oil prices. But the global panic show is just getting started. Make sure you aren't one of the actors on stage. -- RF
Venezuela receives $5 bn credit line from China
'Up to 146 million risk poverty if EU's austerity drags on'
Greece looks to state property assets to avoid third bailout
The Greek finance ministry is looking at a plan that could see state-owned property assets used as collateral for loans that could help it avoid a third bailout by the EU and IMF.
Thai Farmers Hooked on Subsidies Test Yingluck: Southeast Asia
Thailand's decision to expand subsidies for rice and rubber farmers to quell protests is undermining efforts to control rising debt, even as governments in neighboring Malaysia and Indonesia cut back support programs.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Europe's airlines must focus on low-cost battle-IAG CEO
European airlines will have to cut costs at existing short-haul businesses to compete with budget airlines or struggle to stay aloft, IAG boss Willie Walsh said.
Too many LCCS breeding 'irrational' competition, causing huge losses
Ryanair admits passengers unhappy with treatment
Ryanair may finally have gotten the message: Customers like the European airline's cheap ticket prices and huge selection of destinations, but loathe how they are treated from start to finish.
Half of Sydney's direct international flights dropped by 5 % since July 2008

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
UN Stamps Out Measure to Reign [sic] In Nuclear Israel
Don't Be Fooled, Says Israel, Bomb Iran Instead
Watchdog Body Will Oversee Private Military Contractors
Bolivian President to sue US and Obama for Crimes against Humanity
Gunmen Launch Deadly Onslaught in Nairobi Shopping Mall
Somalia Al-Shabab claims Nairobi Westgate Kenya attack
Kenyan shopping mall death toll rises to 68 victims
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani offers to broker Syria talks
More than 60 killed in Iraq funeral bombing
AP freelancer says report of rebel chemical weapons use not hers
Syria: 'Bashar al-Assad ordered me to gas people - but I could not do it'
Hundreds of Syria Rebels Pledge Loyalty to al-Qaeda
Much has been made recently of the growing size and influence of Al-Qaeda's Syrian auxiliary Jabhat al-Nusra, especially compared to the relatively small, US-backed factions of Syrian rebels. That disparity is getting worse all the time, with the latest reports claiming many hundreds of additional fighters, and in one case an entire faction in Raqqah claiming 750 fighters pledging loyalty to al-Qaeda.
Israeli Troops Attack EU Diplomats, Seize West Bank Aid
Israeli troops attacked a group of EU diplomats in the occupied West Bank today, throwing concussive grenades at them and flinging them to the ground in front of international reporters, ignoring the diplomatic immunity enjoyed by the officials.
Israeli soldier killed in West Bank
Three Nato soldiers shot dead in Afghanistan 'insider attack'
Russia Says North Korea Fired Shots in the Path of Russian Boat
Suicide bombers kill at least 78 Christians at a church service in Pakistan

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
'Drawing the Line' On Keystone XL, Americans Take to the Streets
Bangladesh garment workers stage biggest wage hike protest
Protesters dive into Venice's canal to block cruise ships
Protesters have leapt into Venice's Giudecca canal to delay a procession of cruise ships, which they say are threatening the city's foundations as they tower over rooftops and drown the city in tourism.

## Energy/resources ##
Shell Oil pulling out of Kansas
Shell Oil has confirmed what it had hinted earlier: that it is pulling out of Kansas completely, selling off 45 producing wells and 600,000 acres of leases in Barber, Harper, Kingman, Pratt, McPherson, Sedgwick, Sumner, Rice and Reno counties. It's the most dramatic in a series of high-profile departures of major exploration companies that have given up on the Mississippian formation, or at least the Kansas side of it.
Asian National Oil Companies Top Brazil Bidders
Sweden has Run out of Rubbish for Waste-to-Energy Industry
Recycling certainly has a lot to do with the shortage of waste/fuel. But remember that the "fuel" is generated by a wasteful consumption-oriented system that is made possible by fossil fuels. It's a recipe for unsustainability if I ever saw one. -- RF
Following Rossi's E-Cat, Another Cold Fusion Device Attracts Commercial Interest
You be the judge. -- RF
Northern Promise: Arctic road to prosperity paved with obstacles (Canada)
US Producers Skip Brazil's Biggest Oil Find as Chinese Compete
Plundering the planet: an update
Oil thieves cripple Nigeria's production, cost state $5B a year
US coal future darkens around the globe
Ontario's power disaster
Brazil ready to finance Petrobras in offshore oil auction: paper
CME says 'high cost' of production holding back miners (Australia)
Decoupling: where's the cake?
Shale gas bust: The shale gas bubble: burning your home in order to save it
Global action urged on Nigerian oil theft
Oil prices hike due to geopolitical factors - official

## Got food? ##
Onion Shortage Seen Worsening in India as Rain Delays Crop
The No-Spray Way to Protect Plants
Trader Joe's Ex-President To Turn Expired Food Into Cheap Meals
Sharp to grow strawberries in Middle East
Looks like a winner. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Norway abandons Mongstad carbon capture plans
The outgoing government in Norway has buried much-vaunted plans to capture carbon dioxide and store it underground amid mounting costs and delays.
Two more Saudis die from MERS virus
Colorado Flooding Sparks 18,000-Gallon Oil Leak
Are ideas to cool the planet realistic?
Scientists: Drifting Styrofoam a toxic soup for world's oceans
Wind Energy Gets Away With Murder
According to an estimate published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin in March almost 600,000 birds are killed by wind farms in America each year, including over 80,000 raptors such as hawks and falcons and eagles (Wildlife Society). Even more bats die as their lungs are inverted by the negative pressures generated behind the 170 mile-per-hour spinning blades.

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Snowden disclosures prompt warning on widely used computer security formula
Last week, the New York Times reported that Snowden's cache of documents from his time working for an NSA contractor  showed that the agency used its public participation in the process for setting voluntary cryptography standards, run by the government's National Institute of Standards and Technology, to push for a formula that it knew it could break.
Biometrics Help Teachers Track Students' Every Move
Students listen up! If you are used to passing notes, tapping out texts or even sneaking in quick conversations when you're supposed to be working on fractions…beware! Those kinds of activities could be a thing of the past - or at the very least, closely monitored - in the biometric classroom of the future.
Online anger 'spreads faster than joy' on Weibo
Belgacom Attack: Britain's GCHQ Hacked Belgian Telecoms Firm
DOJ Still Can't Do Math: Terrorist Statistics Inflated, Double Counted And Badly Organized
FATCA: A Tool of the Electronic Surveillance State
Chaos Computer Club breaks Apple TouchID
China-based hacking group behind hundreds of attacks on U.S. companies

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
America's dying mall culture: Column
The crippled and crumbling remains of shopping centers symbolize a golden age.
North Korea collapse inevitable, new report says
NK is in competition with a number of other countries for which will collapse first. -- RF

## Japan ##
More Fukushima plant workers show health problems
Japan Condo Sales Flying High on Abenomics
Fukushima town protests Abe's global promise on crippled plant
JR Hokkaido reports track defects in 97 locations

## China ##
Eight Questions: Damien Ma and William Adams, 'In Line Behind a Billion People'
Taste for meat and fish sees soya imports soar
China is the world's biggest soya consumer, with demand driven by an appetite for meat and fish raised on the product, rather than tofu or soy sauce.
Beijing exploring ways to ease industrial overcapacity
China cuts coal consumption and shut capacity in northern regions
Energy-Hungry China Sees Rise in Labor Costs
With wages increasing and strikes engulfing the country, the massive cheap labor force that has helped fuel China's economic boom by underselling its competitors may be coming to  an end, reports suggest.
China's Ghost Cities... Are Multiplying

## UK ##
Energy firms expected to increase prices by 8%
Consumers face bill for power stations to be mothballed amid blackout fears
Energy companies are to be paid ten of millions of pounds to keep old power stations on standby amid mounting fears of blackouts.
Rising food costs means 30% can't feed family properly
Airport expansion: British economy being strangled by lack of flights, say ex-ministers

## US ##
Scranton, Pennsylvania Careens Towards Bankruptcy
Hedge fund billionaire: Fed's move 'fantastic' for the rich
The Era of Cheap Gasoline is Over
Road to financial distress varies by city in U.S.: report
House Votes To Slash $40 Billion From Food Stamp Program
Ron Paul on U.S. Fed QE: Prepare for the Destruction of the Dollar
'Road rage' leaves two drivers dead
Too Big To Fail Is Now Bigger Than Ever Before
Nuclear renaissance: US Nuclear Power In Decline
7 in 10 Americans Think Government Is For The Banks And Big Corps (Not The People)
Manufacturing Returns To The US But The Jobs Don't
Stuck In Poverty Amid Signs Of Recovery
Neofeudalism: Hunger Games Economics: Washington Sees Incomes Soar as Most of U.S. Declines
Target to Hire 18,000 Fewer Seasonal Workers This Holiday Season; Expect Other Retailers to Do the Same
Alabama Elementary School to Parents: We Want to Hit Your Kids
When Alabama mom, Wendy Chandler, opened her daughter's "Back to School" packet, she was shocked to discover that among the many papers sent to her, was a "Corporal Punishment Parental Consent Form."
Food Stamp Nation

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