Tuesday, September 17, 2013


News Links, September 5-6, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Moody's Sees Europe Automakers Losing Billions
Moody's Investors Service Inc. expects four of Europe's volume car manufacturers including Fiat SpA (F.MI) and PSA Peugeot-Citroen SA (UG.FR) to lose a combined five billion euros ($6.6 billion) in the region this year as demand falls to its lowest level in two decades.
IMF approves $6.7bn Pakistan loan to ease economic crisis
Insight: Syria's economy goes underground as black market thrives
Despite glowing statistics, growing number of Germans struggle to survive
Emerging Nations Save $2.9 Trillion Reserves in Rout
Developing nations from Brazil to India are preserving a record $2.9 trillion of foreign reserves and opting instead to raise interest rates and restrict imports to stem the worst rout in their currencies in five years.
Europe fears 'uncontrolled protectionism' as emerging markets turn against free trade
The European Commission has warned of a slide towards "blatant and uncontrolled protectionism" across the world as emerging markets defend themselves, warning that abuses by Russia, Brazil, Indonesia, China and other key states pose a growing threat to global recovery.
About 35,000 Global Bank Employees May Face EU's Bonus Curbs
Marc Faber: Three reasons a plunge is coming
Four Reasons Why U.S. Stocks Have Already Peaked for 2013
India scrambling to reduce oil bill inflated by sinking rupee
India's Middle Class Hit Hard as Rupee Pushes Up Prices
As The Egyptian Economy Sinks And As Factories Shut Down....
Hidden economy is poised to hit SR330bn mark in 2013 (KSA)
This Is Panic: Smuggling Diamonds Out Of India
BRICS to commit $100 billion to FX fund, completion a way off
Singapore Overtakes Japan as Asia's Top Foreign-Exchange Hub
Poland to Cancel Bonds From Pension Funds in System Revamp

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Ryanair warns that profits may miss forecast
Airlines' Highest Fuel Expense Boosts Gol Currency Risk
Airfares breach 2008 peak as airlines look to recoup losses (India)

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Younger Muslim Brotherhood hoping to revive the Egyptian group
Obama considers suspending hundreds of millions in US aid to Egypt
Egypt minister warns of terrorism wave after assassination attempt
Egypt's interior minister survived an assassination attempt unscathed on Thursday when a car bomb blew up next to his convoy and gunmen strafed his vehicle, prompting him to warn that a wave of terrorism by opponents of the military-installed government was just beginning.
U.S. faces substantial losses if Egypt aid halted: official
"We're kind of antsy about that," Genaille said after a speech at the ComDef industry conference in Washington. "There's a whole bunch of contracts out there. The bills keep coming in and we've got to be able to pay them somehow otherwise we go in default."
'We have our plans': Putin warns US against military action in Syria
Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin set for collision over Syria at G20 summit
World leaders will gather in St Petersburg on Thursday for what has transformed into an international showdown with Vladimir Putin threatening to send a missile shield to Syria if the US launches an attack without the authority of the United Nations.
Kerry portrait of Syria rebels at odds with intelligence reports
Vladimir Putin calls John Kerry a liar over al-Qaeda in Syria claims
Russia's Aircraft Carrier To Visit Syrian Naval Base
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Votes in Favor of War
US, the Biggest User of Chemical Weapons in History Asserts "Right To Protect" Syria
The Syrian War: What You're Not Being Told (video)
China says Syria strike would hurt world economy
US officials: Obama administration considers military training of Syrian rebels
The Obama administration is considering a plan to use U.S. military trainers to help increase the capabilities of the Syrian rebels, in a move that would greatly expand the current CIA training being done quietly in Jordan, U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Thursday.
China says Manila stirring up trouble on disputed shoal
Peace talks with Israel going nowhere: senior Palestinian
Palestinian says Israeli peace talk offer sees settlements, bases in West Bank
Russia mocks Britain, the little island
NSA Surveillance Blowback: Brazil's President May Cancel Washington Visit

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
South African Gold Miners on Strike Against 'Slave Wages'
Three arrested in Wal-Mart protests that extend to 15 cities
England: Protesters close road near Cuadrilla drill site

## Energy/resources ##
Rising cost a challenge for O&G industry, says Shell
Shell Malaysia, the Malaysian arm of Royal Dutch Shell plc, said costs are escalating to an extent that the profitability of some of its projects could be threatened.
On This Day In History, Crude Oil Has Never Been More Expensive
Exclusive: Oil & gas industry fears more deep-sea leaks linked to drill fluid
A corrosive drilling fluid that triggered the North Sea's worst gas leak in 20 years could threaten similar deep-sea wells across the world, and operator Total has already warned Shell that its nearby Shearwater field may be at risk.
The corrosive fluids implicated in the leak at Total's Elgin field, such as calcium bromide, are commonly used in such deep-sea wells, and experts fear a recurrence as operators, under pressure to offset declining output from conventional reservoirs, turn to deeper, hotter and higher pressure fields.
Libya in crisis as armed groups throttle oil supplies
Caspian Sea Set to Become a Major Hub for Natural Gas Production
Gazprom postpones construction of pipeline to China - report
The long road to Nigeria's oil industry's growth
The End of the Age of Extraction
Africa Unplugged: Energy Access a Costly Barrier to Growth
Green energy costs to spark bill rise (Germany)
The cost for consumers of supporting renewable energy could jump by up 20 percent over the next year leading to increases in electricity bills, it emerged on Monday.
World set to use much more wastewater - U.N.-backed study
The world is set to use far more treated wastewater to help irrigate crops and feed a rising population as fresh water supplies dry up, a team of U.N.-backed experts said on Thursday.
Oil prices: Worried wells
Is There A Next Big US Oil Play?
There seems to be no shortage of shale acreage around the country, and companies are still in the process of snapping it up and determining different plays' individual characteristics. But for now, it is unclear whether any of the more recently discovered formations hold the same promise that the Bakken and the Eagle Ford do. "It's surprising just how hard it is to find a really premier competitor to something like the Eagle Ford," Tsocanos said. "It seems like there have been a number of disappoinments so far, and a number of plays that had a lot of hype, but seem to have had setbacks."
European and African light crude soars on the back of continued Libyan outages
Blackout: 1 Billion Live Without Electric Light
Johannesburg power cuts could last three days

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Lemington power blackout: Cable thieves plunge over 100 homes in darkness (UK)

## Got food? ##
Crop pests advance 3 km a year as climate change threatens food security
Wheat Research Indicates Rise in Mean Temperature Would Cut Yields
Millions still struggle with hunger in U.S., USDA finds
Some 17.6 million U.S. households had trouble feeding their family members at times last year as "food insecurity" remained at near-record levels for the fifth straight year, according to a government report released Wednesday.
S Korea bans fishery products from 8 Japanese prefectures

## Environment/health ##
Thousands of dead fish wash up in Chinese river
Whooping cough on the rise in Texas
Palm oil now biggest cause of deforestation in Indonesia
Globally, countries are burning off more natural gas
Flaring is on the rise in Canada, and also in the United States and other parts of the world, despite global efforts to cut back, given the negative impact on the environment and industry economics.
Good hygiene may be to blame for soaring Alzheimer's
Modern cities and improved hygiene could be behind rising rates of Alzheimer's in Britain and the rest of the developed world, scientists have said.

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
New Snowden documents say NSA can break common Internet encryption
Hackers find ways to hijack car computers and take control
In recent demonstrations, hackers have shown they can slam a car's brakes at freeway speeds, jerk the steering wheel and even shut down the engine — all from their laptop computers.
Accepting Whistleblower Prize, Snowden Declares 'This Belongs to the Public'
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden receives prestigious award in absentia, thanking countless unsung heroes who are changing the world
'Uncrackable' codes set for step up
A system that allows electronic messages to be sent with complete secrecy could be on the verge of expanding beyond niche applications. A team of British scientists has discovered a way to build communications networks with quantum cryptography at a larger scale than ever before.
Heartbeats to replace traditional passwords
Poll finds people worried about online privacy, taking measures
Americans Try to Disappear from Internet as Security Anxiety Grows
Insights into global device theft: The black market of dirty data
Japan, U.S. to exchange fingerprint info on criminal suspects

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Across U.S., bridges crumble as repair funds fall short
Engineers say thousands are close to collapse. And between the recession, sequestration and congressional gridlock, money to fix them is scarcer than ever.
50,100 Miles of Faulty Pipelines Pose Serious Public Safety Threat Across the US
Currently nearly a quarter of all pipelines in the US (50,100 miles) were laid before 1970 and suffer from these faulty welds, carrying their explosive cargo all over the country, and offering a very serious public safety threat. The reason that they haven't been fixed? Industry officials estimate that to replace them all would cost in the region of $50 billion.

## Japan ##
Toxic Leaks At Fukushima Reach Lethal Levels of Radioactivity
Frozen soil wall test to begin at Fukushima plant
Camera at reactor 1 finds water entry point
Levitating train breaks speed record in Japan
Exciting news articles about the maglev are a prime example of green porn — you can have your cake and eat it, too! This one quotes Phys.org — whose writers should know better — saying that maglev trains "ride on a cushion of air," which is false. Levitation is achieved by mutual repulsion of electromagnets having the same polarity. And it is much more energy-intensive than rail trains. Of course, the project will never be finished. Be careful not to get hooked on green porn. It's unhealthy. -- RF
Brushing aside radiation worry, Tokyo says it's as safe as NYC
Budget requests at record ¥99.3 tril for next fiscal year
Budget requests swelled because the finance ministry requested a record amount for debt-servicing costs. Bulging social welfare spending due to an aging society also pushed up budget requests.
Google Street View shows Fukushima evacuation zones

## China ##
Chinese refiners bear brunt of sluggish demand
China's GDP Growth To Reach 7.5% This Year, Premier Li Keqiang Says
China Can Handle Local Debt, Overcapacity, Says Xi
Ghost towns in China a wasteful sign of hubris
China's brand-new abandoned cities could be dystopian movie sets
Nothing especially new here, but the gallery gives one an idea of the scale of make-work construction. -- RF
China Record Drop in Credit Growth Puts Momentum at Risk
China Beats U.S. for Korean Students Seeing Career Ticket
China to become largest net oil importer before year-end
China Cash Crunch 2: Just When You Thought It Was Safe to Go Back in the Markets

## UK ##
Border security system 'at risk of collapse', warns official watchdog
A crucial computer system designed to stop terrorists and criminals getting through Britain's border is "unstable and at risk of collapsing", the official spending watchdog has warned in a new report.
More UK workers earning less than living wage, research shows
The number of UK workers earning below the so-called living wage has risen to 4.8 million, research suggests. The figure, equivalent to 20% of employees, is up from 3.4 million in 2009, the Resolution Foundation think tank said.
Street lights to be switched off overnight in Colchester from November
The precarious state of London's luxury housing market
Home cooking in decline as low-income households turn to ready meals
Britain's cookery skills and habits are in decline, with the least well-off consumers increasingly turning to a diet of calorie-laden convenience foods and fatty ready meals to beat austerity.
Heating bills concern 38% of UK population, survey suggests
More than a third of people in the UK say they are concerned about paying for their heating bills this winter, a BBC Radio 5 live survey has suggested. It found 25% of people had put up with "unacceptably cold" homes in the past year as they struggle to pay bills. And 63% of the 1,035 adults surveyed said they had cut their energy use because of rising costs.
Rise in cost of dying drives up rate of 'funeral poverty'
Total cost of dying has risen faster than inflation to £7,622, Sun Life Direct says, with one in five people struggling to pay for a funeral
Gas drilling project 'could cost £15m'
MILLIONS of pounds of taxpayers' cash could be spent on developing controversial gas drilling plans.

## US ##
Bonds Bleed: Largest Bubble In History Unwinds, But The "Great Rotation" Into Stocks Is Deceptive Wall Street Hype
U.S. factory orders post sharpest decline in four months
No Progress for Long-Term Unemployed; Ten Reasons the Problem is Structural
Pennsylvania Marcellus shale job creation claims being overstated?
Chesapeake New York Gas Lease Sale Expected Next Week
US Electrical Grid Vulnerable to Squirrel Attacks
Scientists: U.S. no longer the global leader in research
California's disappearing middle class: Is the California dream viable for middle class families? The growing disparity between rich and poor.
More Cities Sweeping Homeless Into Less Prominent Areas
About That "Construction Worker Shortage"
U.S. banks turn to subprime auto loans as delinquencies fall
University Enrollment Declines Following Years of Record Growth
How Fed Policy Has Devastated Three Generations of Retirees
Looking for a raise? Good luck with that
Why Incomes Could Fall For the Next 30 Years
But no mention of energy cost, which will be the biggest factor. Many people still don't get it. -- RF
Suburban slumification: Study: Poverty increases fast in Chicago suburbs
Chicago's suburbs have nearly as many poor people as the city does, according to a report out Thursday.
JPMorgan Chase gets out of student loan business as more families opt for government loans
Farmers want Obama to back off immigration workplace enforcement
"The reality is that the majority of farmworkers in the U.S. are foreign-born and unauthorized, which is well-known," Feinstein wrote Tuesday, adding that she's "afraid that this aggressive worksite enforcement strategy will deprive the agricultural sector of most of its workforce."
In August, 176,000 private jobs added
Job cuts surge in August
U.S. companies announced more than 50,000 job cuts in August, the most in any month since February, a private employment firm said Thursday.
Gallup Says Seasonally-Adjusted Unemployment Climbs to 8.6%; Who to Believe (Gallup or the BLS)?
10 Chemical Weapons Attacks Washington Doesn't Want You to Talk About
Tennessee To Roll Out "No Refusal" Blood-Draw DUI Checkpoints For Labor Day
AIPAC to go all-out on Syria
The powerful pro-Israel lobby AIPAC is planning to launch a major lobbying campaign to push wayward lawmakers to back the resolution authorizing U.S. strikes against Syria, sources said Thursday.
Baby bust: U.S. births at record low
Americans turn in passports as new tax law hits

And finally…
Swedish company sells coffins with Spotify music systems
Reporter fries egg in glare from Walkie Scorchie building, retreats when hair catches fire
Study: People may take longer to respond by text if they're lying
Japanese professor pushes for Hide and Seek at the Olympics

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