Thursday, October 31, 2013


News Links, October 31-November 1, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Unemployment in eurozone at record 12.2 percent
Europe's Scariest Chart Goes From Bad To Worst On Record
Italy's Unemployment Soars to Record High on Recession
Baltic Dry Index Shows The Global Economy Headed For A Slowdown
Death Of The Brazilian Dream: Ex-Billionaire Eike Batista's OGX Files For Bankruptcy
Brazil Posts Widest Federal Primary Budget Gap in Almost 5 Years
Moody's Discussed Stripping New Zealand of Last AAA Rating
U.S. Steel to shutter Hamilton steelmaking operations at end of year (Canada)
Thomson Reuters to cut 3,000 jobs as part of speed up of cost cutting plan
US Out of Top 20 in Global Economic 'Prosperity' Index
Is Asia facing a housing debt crisis?
Central Banks Make Swaps Permanent as Crisis Backstop
Dubai Gold Demand Increases Eightfold; October Eagle And Kangaroo Sales Strong
Up to 2000 NZ Post jobs to be cut

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Cockpit smoke reported at least 650 times since 2000
How airlines are nickel and diming their way to record revenue
"These fees have become, for many airlines, the difference between a profit and a loss, and that is not lost on airline executives all over the world."
Japan's ANA says H1 profit dives 45.7%, slashes FY outlook
Japan Airlines net profit drops 17.8%
Are Airlines Actually Cutting Back on Fuel? Is That Safe?
Global airfreight market sees sluggish growth begin in 2013
Qantas confirms Jetstar Japan cash injection
No One Notices Deadly Plane Crash at Major Airport
Still struggling in Europe's poor economy, Air France-KLM sees profit slide 50 percent
Transition to satellite-based air traffic control system plagued by problems, delays

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Vladimir Putin Tops Obama as 'World's Most Powerful Person'
Oil and Politics: Who will Take over from the US in the Middle East?
Vietnam to Get Russian 'Black Hole' Sub Next Month
Growing European backlash over spying threatens billions of dollars in US trade
Singapore seeks guided rocket launchers
Russia plans to bring more S-300 air systems to EU border in Belarus
Officials: Israelis strike shipment of Russian missiles at Syrian port
Israel: 5,000 New Settlement Homes to Offset 26 Freed Prisoners
Perpetual War: How Does the Global War on Terror Ever End?
China accuses Japan of interfering in naval drills
Obama Struggles to Sell Congress on Iran Talks

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Egyptian students protest after Brotherhood leader arrested
Bangladesh to decide garment wage rise amid unrest fears
Student protest turns ugly in Melbourne's CBD
Protesters run riot in Cape Town
Rioting protesters return to Brazil streets
Protests over French 'ecotax' turn violent
China's Airlines Get Bomb Threats After Arrests in Beijing Crash
Office workers protest against nuclear power in Tokyo

## Energy/resources ##
Peak "Cheap" Oil: Shale Oil Proves Peak Oil Is Indeed Upon Us
The reason I say in the title that shale oil proves that Peak Oil is upon us is that we would not be drilling them if there were anything better left to drill. The simple yet profound reason that we're going after this more difficult and expensive oil is—drum roll, please—the easy and cheap stuff is all gone.
Shell CFO: Spending Cutbacks Will Damage Oil Industry
The Peak Oil Crisis: The Shale Oil Bubble
US will always remain crude oil importer
Ukraine to Sign $10 Billion Shale Deal with Chevron
US #1 in Oil: So Why Isn't Gasoline $0.80 per Gallon?
Because, as the article notes, the cost of production is so high. -- RF
Germany Looks to Straw for Home Heating
Total profit falls as European refining hurts
French oil company Total (TOTF.PA) reported a 19 percent drop in third-quarter adjusted net profits to 2.7 billion euros ($3.72 billion) on Thursday, hit by low refining margins in Europe and higher exploration costs.
Local government offers to bail out China's struggling Suntech
Struggling Chinese solar panel maker Suntech Power Holdings Co Ltd is set for a $150 million local government bailout, a step towards tackling its $2.3 billion debt pile that is at odds with Beijing's effort to wean the sector off state support.
U.S. Asks China to Team Up on Oil
Blame solar for sky-high Ontario power bills
14 low-tech ways to keep your house warm over the winter
Big Oil faces pressure from shareholders over costs
Oil industry shareholders concerned about poor returns and costly projects urged executives from Big Oil this week to return cash to shareholders - and at least one of the world's top five petroleum companies fully acquiesced.
U.S. Wind Power Slumps in 2013 After Tax Credit Drives 2012 Boom
World gas market to remain tight in next two years: Qatargas
Iran, Russia likely to sign crude oil swap deals
Boulder's Clean Energy Action argues U.S. already past 'peak coal'
I would not deny that there is a 200-year supply, but who's going to pay for it? -- RF
Barrick Gold Hat Trick: Mega-Stock Sale To Pay Debt
A bum deal? EU to roll out toilet flush law

## Got food? ##
Community Supported Canning Gets Locavores Through Winter
Soylent: An Offbeat Food Idea Investors Are Taking Seriously
Fisheries chief says some EU cod stocks facing collapse
Food stamp cuts set to kick in Friday as Congress debates billions in further reductions (US)
Food stamp cuts will hurt more than you think
Heat, Drought Draw Farmers Back To Sorghum, The 'Camel Of Crops'
I can say from experience that sorghum is easy to grow. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Oil Spill's Effects Reach 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
Gold rush sparked by global financial crisis devastates Amazon

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Report: NSA secretly broke into Yahoo, Google data center links around world
Google and Yahoo furious over reports that NSA secretly intercepts data links
Adobe data breach more extensive than previously disclosed
Adobe Systems Inc said on Tuesday that the scope of a cyber-security breach disclosed nearly a month ago was far bigger than initially reported, with attackers obtaining data on more than 38 million customer accounts.
London Olympics Website Attacked 212 Million Times
The Battle for Power on the Internet
Diebold Charged With Bribery, Falsifying Docs, 'Worldwide Pattern of Criminal Conduct'
US 'spied on future Pope Francis during Vatican conclave'
Cyber-crime is 'greatest threat' to companies survival: EY
What companies are doing with your intimate social data
Human Rights Attorneys Have Been Working with German Politicians on Asylum for Snowden
Facebook Tests Software to Track Your Cursor on Screen
Germany Advises Journalists To Stop Using Google Over US Spying Concerns, May Ask Snowden To Tesity Against NSA
Avoiding NSA clutches: India to launch internal email policy for govt comms
India is on the verge of implementing an internal email policy for official communications in order to avoid using American-based web services that have been compromised by the National Security Agency.

## Japan ##
Sony slashes full-year profit forecast by 40%
Dismal Abenomics Leads To 16th Consecutive Decline In Japanese Wages
When Did The US Treasury Say This: "Japan Has Turned The Corner"
Yeah, Japan has been "turning the corner" for 10 years now. I'm getting dizzy. -- RF
Japan Tobacco to close domestic factories, downsize workforce by 1,600
Japanese Firms Ever the Optimists in Production Forecasts
Japanese companies are once again predicting industrial production will keep picking up next month. But can you believe them? Looking at past predictions invites skepticism.
Banking and organised crime in Japan
Hokkaido Railway Co.'s safety woes run deeper than chronic financial problems
IMF Happy Talk Cannot Obscure Japan's Reality
31 percent of university grads quit first job out of school within 3 years
Employees allowed to work through 65 at two-thirds of Japanese firms
Fukushima Watch: Watchdog Approves Tepco's Plan to Retrieve Fuel Rods
Chubu Electric files for 4.95% rate hike
Japan Energy Profile: World's Largest Liquefied Natural Gas Importer – Analysis

## China ##
Top Chinese Banks Post Biggest Bad-Loan Surge Since 2010
Shale Gas Revolution Not Coming To China Anytime Soon
Entertainment firms feel the crunch of Beijing's frugality drive
China to step up own security after new NSA allegations
Police: 'Jihadists' Detained In Tiananmen Square Car Crash
Property bubbles bursting in China's third- and fourth-tier cities: official

## UK ##
Hinkley Point: nuclear power plant gamble worries economic analysts
The government's agreement to underwrite the £16bn Hinkley Point nuclear power station could prove to be "economically insane" and hugely costly to consumers, City analysts have warned.
Young face lifetime of unemployment, warns charity
Britain faces 'public health time bomb'
Wind farms knock eight per cent off average home value, property experts reveal
Britain's woodland 'set to shrink'

## US ##
Peak Coal Passed in 2008 as Mining Costs Rise, Group Says
Coal reserves in the U.S. are lower than government and industry estimates because the shallow deposits that are cheaper to access have been largely mined out, according to a study by a group urging the country to pursue renewable energy. Clean Energy Action in Boulder, Colorado, said in a report today that the U.S. passed its peak coal production in 2008, and that production will become increasingly difficult and expensive across the country.
US deficit falls to $680.3B in 2013, first time in 5 years imbalance falls below $1T
Illinois Teachers Pension Fund is 40% Funded, Drops Deeper Into Hole Despite Investment Return of 12.8%
Fed Does Not Taper, Keeps QE At $85 Billion
Average Job Creation "Cost" In 2013: $553,000
Land Prices Hit the Brakes
Is Nobody Watching Oil Pipeline Safety in the United States?
NY State Launches Strategic Gasoline Reserve
Vampires, zombies spook state housing markets
'Catastrophic': Congressional Apathy to Push Millions of Nation's Poor into Deeper Hunger
Bankrupt Alabama county gets $300 million more in concessions
Elliott's Singer Sees More Detroit-Style Municipal Insolvencies
Rand Paul Tries to Pass His Dad's 'Audit the Fed' Bill By Calling Out Harry Reid
Cops Buy Own Uniforms, Bullets, In Cash-Strapped Detroit
Is Puerto Rico the next Detroit?
Dr. Lacy Hunt: Fed Operating on a Flawed Model; "Wealth Effect" Only Widening Wealth Divide

And finally…
Shanghai police tackle burglars with grease

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


News Links, October 29-30, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Expect to Be Paid in Spain? This Year? By the Government? Then Take a Haircut!
What can save Australia as mining boom fizzles?
Europe Auto Industry Has 18 Factories' Worth of Overcapacity
EADS plans to cut jobs, costs at defense unit: CEO in paper
In Almost Every European Country, Bikes Are Outselling New Cars
Rising poverty: 343,000 Germans on welfare benefits
Greece says can't take any more austerity, will not be 'blackmailed'
India raises interest rates for the second month running
Food Inflation in India Hits 18.4%; RBI Expected to Hike Rates; Pause Before Rupee Collapse?
Luxury goods sales slowed by China drag as high-end consumers cut domestic purchases

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Fewer air passengers in regional airports (Poland)
AoT plans to increase airport taxes next year to cut its losses
The board of Airports of Thailand Plc (AoT) plans to raise its passenger service charge from 100 baht to 200 baht for passengers on domestic flights and from 700 to 800 baht for passengers on international flights to cut its losses.
Tigerair records heavy losses
Plane Passengers Sleep Easier in 18-Inch Seats. Airlines Don't Really Care
Here's How the Government Shutdown Hurt U.S. Airlines
Air China Q3 net profit falls as business travel slows
Qantas digs deep to shore up Jetstar Japan

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Israel Air Force Plan Shoots for 10-Fold Boost in Bombs on Target
The Israel Air Force (IAF) is revamping headquarters staff, planning procedures and air operations to support a 10-fold increase in the number of targets it can detect and destroy, the Air Force's chief of air operations said.
Three Egyptian policemen killed by Mansoura gunmen
North Africa, led by Algeria, seen as emerging arms market
Mexican Drug Cartels Attack State-Owned Energy Assets
Mexico beefs up security after attacks on state energy firms
Parts of Michoacan have fallen under the control of criminal gangs who are fighting among themselves and against authorities.
Saudi Arabia's differences with the Obama administration are tied to the kingdom's weakening position in the world.
4 Chinese ships enter waters near Senkakus
China displays its marine muscle with sub fleet
War-weary Iraqis scared to leave homes as violence reaches levels not seen since 2008
Iraqi PM flies to U.S., seeking arms to fight militants
Meet the Australian children fluent in Mandarin (+video)
North Korea Seen Expanding Rocket Site
At UN, Record Number of Countries Condemn US Embargo Against Cuba
U.S. senators seek to cut Iran's oil sales in half - again
Fresh U.S. sanctions over Iran's disputed nuclear program being debated behind closed doors in the Senate aim to slash the country's oil sales in half within a year of the plan being signed into law, an influential senator said this week.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Turkish police fire water cannon to break up protest
"Riots always begin typically the same way": Food stamp shutdown looms Friday
Beijing security blames Uighur men for fatal Tiananmen crash
Civil rights movement gains momentum in China, alarms government

## Energy/resources ##
Stung by scandal, S.Korea weighs up cost of curbing nuclear power
Shale drilling bust: Shale Projects Lagging in Eastern Europe
Shale drilling bust: New York Shale Play Gets Major Downgrade
The real reason New York State has not allowed high-volume hydrofracking for natural gas in its Marcellus shale is that there is almost no gas that can be economically extracted, according to four retired professionals turned fracking analysts.
Shale drilling bust: America's natural gas revolution isn't all it's 'fracked' up to be
Shale drilling bust: Scientists Wary of Shale Oil and Gas as U.S. Energy Salvation
After 10 years of production, shale gas in the United States cannot be considered commercially viable, according to several scientists presenting at the Geological Society of America meeting in Denver on Monday.
Shale drilling bust: Underground Truths: Shale Won't Save Us
Is the Siberian Oilfield to be Developed by China and Russia Radioactive?
Iraq oil exports plunge to 19-month low
Limits to exponential growth: raw materials
Oil service firms rush to Saudi Arabia for busy drilling year ahead
Investors 'more comfortable' putting money into gas projects in Iraq than Quebec: banker
Russia demands Ukraine payment, raising fears of new gas war
Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom demanded Ukraine pay an overdue gas bill urgently on Tuesday, raising fears of a new "gas war" and increasing pressure on Kiev as it tries to build ties with Europe.
Batista's OGX ends bondholder talks as bankruptcy looms
European oil refiners battle to tap growing African fuel demand
Kenya shutdown tempers east African oil ambitions
Tullow Oil's (TLW.L) suspension of drilling in Kenya after weekend protests shows that popular impatience for a share of the spoils is compounding the problems energy firms face building an oil and gas industry from scratch in east Africa.

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Scrap thefts create headaches in Erie region
Metal grates and covers have disappeared from storm sewer systems throughout the city in recent months, leading police to warn pedestrians of the potential hazards.

## Got food? ##
Argentine bread prices keep rising as grain scarcity kicks in
Argentina's wheat and corn distribution chaos, caused by erratic supplies and now widespread scarcity, has finally reached bakeries that are charging exorbitant prices for bread despite government warnings of a crackdown.
GM Crops Causing a Stir in Washington State, Mexico, and Hawaii
Onion crisis leaves trail of tears across India

## Environment/health ##
Nearly 300 Pipeline Spills In North Dakota Have Gone Unreported To The Public Since January 2012
Mustard gas traces found close to Poland's Baltic Sea coast
Nuclear waste in Kara Sea could spread to other continents
Storm lashes northern Europe leaving at least 13 dead
Examining the Link Between Fracking, Earthquakes
Cancer Express Carries Sufferers of India's Deadly Waters
How Video Games Are Getting Inside Your Head — And Wallet

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
A Look Into Facebook's Potential To Recognize Anybody's Face
Spain summons US ambassador over claim NSA tracked 60m calls a month
Europe mulls sanctions against US amid stream of NSA revelations
France and Spain spied on their own citizens and handed data over to the NSA
Obama orders curbs on NSA spying on U.N. headquarters
Syrian hackers claim to breach Barack Obama's Twitter account
British man charged with hacking US Army and Nasa computer systems
I challenged hackers to investigate me and what they found out is chilling
Phantom Ships Expose Weakness in Vessel-Tracking System
Feinstein Pushes to Legalize the Surveillance State

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Gathering Storm
Doing more of what failed spectacularly will not save the day a second time, as the scale required to create yet more phantom collateral and more asset bubbles will collapse the system.
5 Reasons Why Being a Lone Wolf is a Horrible Survival Plan
This is sage advice. Smart people will not try to tough it out alone. As I've said repeatedly, they key to surviving —and thriving — is building mutually supportive communities, which in turn become the building blocks for a new society and economic system. Start planning immediately, if you want something decent to replace the unsustainable, unjust system that we have now. -- RF
Beg Apple: Subways overrun with homeless

## Japan ##
Signs of price rise for petrochemical items
Chubu Electric seventh utility to seek household rate hike
Tokyo govt rejects demand to help pay for stadium
TEPCO seeks to rotate more workers to Fukushima nuclear plant
Tepco may use undamaged reactor buildings for water storage
Aomori municipalities ask prefecture to cover lost 'power industry money'
Aomori Prefecture is one of the less-affluent regions of Japan, which is why it accepted nuclear reprocessing facilities in the first place. Predictably, the money is drying up. -- RF
Aso suggests gov't may use public money for decontamination work

## China ##
Here are the signs that China's Lehman moment is inevitable
Fallen Angels Seen by Haitong on Record Downgrades: China Credit
Record downgrades in China suggest more companies will lose investment-grade ratings as Premier Li Keqiang pares state intervention, according to Haitong Securities Co., the nation's second-biggest brokerage.
Chinese oil companies attempt to slash shale gas drilling costs
China to Start Monitoring Pollution Effects in Worst-Hit Cities
China's anti-pollution drive risks running out of gas
A chronic shortage of natural gas is hurting China's plan to move away from burning coal to heat homes and offices, raising the prospect of more choking air pollution this winter and beyond.
Aging China: 'Eldergartens' Tip Of New Market As Elderly Population Explodes

## UK ##
Long, cold winter for 3 million who can't pay their energy bills
Fears that 200 people a day could die as temperatures fall and prices rise
Naval bases could become nuclear dumps
UK storm: two dead amid flooding and disruption as storm-force winds hit
Massive job cuts at the Environment Agency
Cycle sales outstripping cars

## US ##
As stimulus tab rises for Fed, worries grow it may require a bailout
The Fed's bond-buying binge could put the central bank's finances at risk if interest rates were to rise sharply, critics warn.
A black box in your car? Some see a source of tax revenue
The devices would track every mile you drive —possibly including your location — and the government would use the data to draw up a tax bill.
29 Incredible Facts Which Prove That Poverty In America Is Absolutely Exploding
Parents Who Can't Afford Diapers Are Reusing Dirty Ones
How's that for poverty? -- RF
Oil Production No Answer to Energy Security
N.H. looks to sell naming rights for highway rest areas
New Neighbors to Millions of Americans: Fracking Wells
U.S. factory, housing data suggest economy losing steam
Home Sales Collapse At Fastest Rate In 40 Months; Stocks Spike
Ron Paul On Faux Fed Transparency: "Believe Me, The 'Big Stuff' Is Done In Secret"
This could be the largest Fed stimulus yet
Without federal aid, Amtrak could leave rural areas behind
They're among the last holdovers from the golden age of American train travel, but the changing relationship between the federal government and the states could mean the end of the line for some of Amtrak's long-distance routes.
This is reminiscent of the slow decline of regional airports. But it's much more serious, as trains are more energy-efficient than aircraft. A forward-looking, energy-savvy government would maintain the rail system at the expense of airports and air travel. -- RF
The Historic Rise in Life Sentences in America
Detroit's finances 'shocking,' city manager testifies
Bumpers falling off police cars! But you ain't seen nothin' yet, baby. -- RF
The Ten US Cities With Less Than Ten Days Of Cash On Hand
Muni bond defaults — coming to a municipality near you! -- RF
Polls show energy doesn't spark Americans' interest
The thrust of this article is that the American public is at fault for not keeping abreast of the latest energy news and being informed citizens. But in fact, most of the energy-related "news" in the mainstream media is riddled with propaganda, so that anyone depending on this would be woefully misinformed and mislead. Read (or reread) Tad Patzek's blog post to get an idea of how derelict the mainstream media are. -- RF
Where You Might Not Shop in 2013
Unnecessary Surgeries? You Bet! Doctors Treat Patients as ATMs; US Healthcare System Explained in Six Succinct Points
Dow Sets New Record Thanks to Optimism on Fed Stimulus
One year after superstorm Sandy, homeowners ask, where's the aid?

And finally...
Britney Spears Music Used To Scare Off Somali Pirates
Researchers use eye tracking to analyze ogling of women

Sunday, October 27, 2013


News Links, October 26-28, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Asian stock markets sink on doubts about durability of China, Japan recoveries
Bank Born Out of Black Death Struggles to Survive
Peugeot Shuts Plant, But Europe Still Has Excess Capacity
Electrolux to Cut Costs and Jobs as Profit Misses Estimates
Norway's Sovereign Wealth Fund Shuns Stocks on Reversal Bet
Export Slowdown Threatens World Economy
Madoff has insisted all along that J.P. Morgan knew about Ponzi scheme
"It was very obvious to the banks what was going on."
Spain experiencing brain drain as weak economy lingers
Truckmaker Volvo to Cut 2,000 Jobs
Spain's Underground Economy Almost 29% of GDP (Survey)
Fear of Financial Ruin Holds Back Korean Startups
Analysis: Strained finances trip up French firms' recovery role
No global recovery yet
First Bitcoin ATM to be installed in Vancouver coffee shop
Wal-Mart cozies up to China as it shelves India
Rajan Seen Raising Key Rate Again to Tame Fastest Asia Inflation
India's central bank will probably raise its benchmark interest rate tomorrow for the second straight month, stepping up the fight against the fastest consumer-price inflation in Asia.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
US airlines supersize their rides, packing people onto bigger planes
Airline profits driven by higher fares, bag fees
Southwest Airlines CEO hints carrier could initiate baggage fees
With spiraling ticket-change fees, it's cheaper to pull a no-show than to cancel a flight
First passengers arrive at Dubai's new airport, part of its ambitions to dominate air travel
Oh, boy. -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Libyan militias' most valuable hostage: oil
Militias in eastern Libya have seized control of key oil infrastructure, launched their own government, and created their own army in a bid to improve their bargaining position as they demand semi-autonomy from the central government in Tripoli.
Israel to announce more settlement building
South Korea conducts military exercise at disputed islands
Nigeria: Drums of war again in the oil region of the Niger Delta
Iran, powers to have expert-level nuclear talks in Vienna October 30-31
House leader impatient about new Iran sanctions
S. Korea Envisions Light Aircraft Carrier
South Korea holds military drill at Takeshima during 'Dokdo Day'
Japan protests against South Korean drill on disputed islands
Japanese fighters scrambled for 3rd day in response to Chinese planes
Abe says Japan won't tolerate use of force to change regional status quo
Germany, Brazil to propose anti-spying resolution at U.N.
Germany and Brazil are drafting a U.N. General Assembly resolution that would demand an end to excessive spying and invasion of privacy after a former U.S. intelligence contractor revealed massive international surveillance programs, U.N. diplomats said on Friday.
Will the House of Saud pivot to China?
What Is Barack "Nobel Peace Prize" Obama Doing About Tokyo's Threat To Become Tehran On Steroids?
Is the U.S. Air Force the answer to Nigerian pirate attacks?
Russia to Expand Kyrgyzstan Military Base
Russia will expand its airbase in Kyrgyzstan at the end of the year ahead of the shutdown of a US base in the country, a senior commander said Saturday. The number of planes at Russia's Kant airbase in the country "will at least double by this December," Viktor Sevastyanov, a senior Russian air force commander, said at a ceremony marking the base's 10-year anniversary.
Emerging battlefield technology borrows from science fiction
Wave of attacks hits Baghdad and northern Iraq, killing at least 66 in series of assaults
Somalia journalists beaten, radio stations taken off air: union
Palestinian downturn bites, aid falters, tunnels collapse
Japan Defense Ministry to expand military attaches in Africa to nine

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Brazil protests: Sao Paulo bus station attacked
Hundreds of protesters have attacked a bus station in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, setting fire to a bus and destroying cash and ticket machines.
Chinese villagers protest against land deal in Yunnan
Egyptian police use teargas on protests in Alexandria and Suez
Unrest rises in Tunisia after Islamists kill police officers
Anti-NSA rally attracts thousands to march in Washington
Freed Politician, Thousands Protest in Bahrain
Saudi women drive in protest with little problem

## Energy/resources ##
Wind Power Costs in U.S. Are Six Times Higher Than Claimed
EU Kills Bill to Limit Food-Based Biofuels
Sanction Side-Step: Iranian Oil Flows Back Into China
This Week in Energy: Iran Creeps Back
Google Buys Wind Energy, Cost to Taxpayers Could Top $350 MM
Report: Brazilian oil company OGX preparing to file for bankruptcy
OPEC Exports to Drop as Saudi Arabia Trims, Oil Movements Says
Stage set for oil major growth, in costly production
A prolonged period of heavy planned spending looks to be ending for the big private-sector oil producers, leaving investors to gauge how companies will manage cash thrown off by big projects as they ramp up, and how much will be eaten up by costs… While higher oil prices boosted cash flow in recent years, cost inflation now threatens to eat away at returns as oil companies push the envelope with deepwater drilling and liquefied natural gas mega-projects.
Oil's $5 Trillion Permian Boom Threatened by $70 Crude
Bryan Sheffield, a third-generation oil wildcatter in Texas's Permian Basin, knows what he'll do if crude drops to $80 a barrel: shut down half his drilling rigs and go on a takeover hunt for weaker rivals.
News articles like the above two are now easy to find. The message is out there, but who is listening? -- RF
Reality Check: Germany's Defective Green Energy Game Plan
Germany pretends to be a pioneer in the green revolution. But its massively expensive Energiewende has done nothing to make the environment cleaner or encourage genuine efficiency.
Berlin's Electric Rates Become Highest In Europe
Kurdistan Considers National Oil Company
Eastern Mediterranean offshore gas production not imminent, expert says
Big Oil Mobilizing to Meet Rising Oil Demand in China
Sinopec seeks partner for Canada shale
Sinopec Group wants to sell half of its two biggest shale gas fields in Canada to spread costs and accelerate their development as the Chinese energy company focuses increasingly on return of investment, an executive said.
Pakistan may ask India to review Indus Waters Treaty
Demand for propane to dry crops spikes, leading to shortage; could affect timing of harvests (US)
Demand for propane to dry crops has spiked, leading to problems distributing the fuel to farms across the Midwest.
Romanian farmers choose subsistence over shale gas
Iran's state energy firms crippled by budget -minister
The problem with (affordable) helium

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Solar farms "attractive to metal thieves"
It is said that the large amount of wiring and equipment at solar farm sites makes them attractive targets for metal thieves.

## Got food? ##
Nation headed over 'food stamp cliff' (US)
EU moves to curtail overfishing
Possible Listeria Contamination Leads To Recalls In 25 States

## Environment/health ##
Illinois Biggest Atomic Dump as U.S. Fails to Pick Site
Scientists Discover Key Molecule Linking Neonicotinoids to Honey Bee Viruses
Plant used as biodiesel source found to hide poisonous problem
While countries like Brazil and India grow large quantities of castor oil beans that can be refined into bio-diesel, the beans contain allergens and also the extremely potent poison ricin, meaning bean pulp left after extraction of the oil cannot be used for animal feed and becomes a problematic waste byproduct.
Drought Led to Collapse of Civilizations, Study Says
Arctic temperatures at 44,000-year high
Companies rush to build 'bio-factories' for medicines, flavorings and fuels
For scientist Jack Newman, creating a new life-form has become as simple as this: He types out a DNA sequence on his laptop. Clicks "send." And a few yards away in the laboratory, robotic arms mix together some compounds to produce the desired cells.
Britain braces for severe 'St. Jude' storm
WHO Says Air We Breathe is Carcinogenic

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Must read: Some Narratives Are Better Than Others
Tad Patzek on US energy propaganda. Sums it up beautifully. I couldn't say it any better than this. -- RF
Dept. Of Energy Breach: Bigger Than We Realized
Benghazi suspects not on State Department's 'Rewards for Justice' list
Eavesdropped on Amtrak: Ex-NSA Chief Gets Taste of Own Medicine
US spies on 'the entire globe', experts say
US 'operates 80 listening posts worldwide, 19 in Europe, and snooped on Merkel moby 2002-2013'
NSA Website Hacked Ahead Of "Stop Watching Us" Rally
NSA: No denial-of-service attack
NSA Chief: Reporters Must Be Stopped
U.S. sought Japan aid in tapping fiber-optic cables in 2011
The U.S. National Security Agency sounded out the Japanese government around 2011 for cooperation  in wiretapping fiber-optic cables carrying phone and Internet data across the Asia-Pacific region, sources familiar with the matter said Saturday.
DARPA Is Developing an Implant that Can Read Brain Signals in Real-Time
Police Departments Work to Expand Capability to "Shut Down" Social Media
Are conspiracy theories destroying democracy?
This BBC article is more balanced than the title suggests. -- RF
Altered Images: How activists cried foul over 'suicide bomber' photo
Homeland Security agent seizes notes from a reporter who wrote critical stories
Experts say hackers hit major Israeli roadway, a sign cyber warfare now reality
4th and 1st Amendments Under Fire; "Everyone Spies" a Favorite Cry of US Apologists; War Against Journalists; "We Hit the Jackpot"

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
'Maria' case shines light on Greek bureaucracy edging closer to collapse

## Japan ##
As workload mounts, string of human errors at Japan's crippled nuclear plant prompts concern
Documents show government tacitly accepts TEPCO's refusal to pay for cleanup
SPECIAL REPORT-Help wanted in Fukushima: Low pay, high risks and gangsters
Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant undamaged after quake
Japan receives global offers to contain water spills at Fukushima No. 1
Japan scrambles fighter planes as 4 Chinese planes fly near Okinawa
Abe says he is ready to be more assertive against China
Tax hike may induce firms to use more temp workers
Tough road ahead for struggling chipmaker Renesas
Abe's play for secrecy law
Protests rise against government secret protection bill
TEPCO to boost shale gas purchase
The Yomiuri Shimbun Tokyo Electric Power Co. has decided to increase the amount of U.S. shale gas it will purchase from 2017 as fuel for thermal power generation to 1.5 times its initial plan, or 1.2 million tons a year.
I see some unpleasant surprises on the horizon. -- RF

## China ##
China Real Estate Lending Tops $2.3 Trillion
China's home lending is larger than the entire economy of India.
International students in China hit record high

## UK ##
Leaked memos reveal GCHQ efforts to keep mass surveillance secret
Keep homes heated to prevent winter deaths, government advises
Official cold weather plan for England tells public to heat one room at a time to keep energy costs down this winter
Heat just one room at a time! I've long said that the demise of central heating is inevitable, and already people are being pushed in that direction. Before you know it, people will be heating one room in which they eat and sleep. -- RF

## US ##
Violent crime rises for second consecutive year
25 Stats That Prove That The American Dream Is Being Systematically Destroyed
The American Dream (now shared by many people around the world) was predicated on high energy and resource consumption and was therefore never sustainable. RIP. -- RF
Work Until You Die? More Middle Class Americans Say They Can Never Retire
Fast-food wages costly to taxpayers
Bye-Bye to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Pensions
Many Ohio Communities Still Dealing with Thousands of Abandoned Homes
Abandoned homes a growing neighborhood nuisance in Tulsa
'Zombie' homes sit in limbo in Florida, nationally
Home affordability sinks as housing slows
Rising home prices, higher mortgage rates and stagnant wages are a toxic cocktail for homebuyers, pushing affordability down dramatically.
Non-participants in Labor Force Hit All-Time High
Cut to food stamps coming next Friday
Big U.S. Banks Are Simply Un-Investible
A year after Sandy, an uneven recovery for thousands still trying to fix wrecked homes
The situation is very much like that of Japan's earthquake- and tsunami-hit northeast coast. Two major factors — expensive energy and general systemic failure — conspire to hinder recovery. -- RF
David Petraeus as Equity Firm Education Ambassador
Last Hope For Holiday Shopping Frenzy: The Few Who Can Splurge
New Tools! More Pure Bank Profit!
One more week like this and the FED balance sheet will be $1 trillion more than last year at this time. Currently now at $980 billion with this past week adding $20 billion.
Feds seize $28 million in bitcoins from alleged Silk Road operator
Cuomo Announces "Strategic Gasoline Reserve" to Prevent Gas Shortages during Emergencies
A 140-Acre Forest Is About to Materialize in the Middle of Detroit
Wallets to Take a Hit as Winter Fuel Bills Rise This Season
More U.S. families cannot pay an unexpected healthcare bill
Detroit Pensioners Face Miserable 16 Cent On The Dollar Recovery
Four "Proofs" Stock Market Rally Will Fall Flat on Its Face


News Links, October 24-25, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Caterpillar posts lower results, cuts outlook yet again
New Rules for Italy Banks "I'll Guarantee Your Derivatives If You Guarantee Mine"
Print, baby, print! Central Banks Drop Tightening Talk as Easy Money Goes On
Exclusive: India eyes $15 billion rollover of subsidy costs into next budget
India's finance minister is finding it harder and harder to meet the government's budget promises and may sweep as much as $15 billion in subsidy costs into next year's accounts to ensure he hits fiscal targets ahead of national elections, ministry officials say.
Australia inflation surprise highlights rising price pressures in Asia
Australia to raise debt limit by two-thirds to A$500bn
Tepid growth seen while Australia searches for new growth source: Poll
Hundreds of posties to lose jobs, deliveries cut (NZ)
New Zealand Post says hundreds of posties will lose their jobs when the urban delivery of standard letters is cut from six days a week.
S. African Debt Climbs as Gordhan Pledges Spending Curbs
China makes renminbi-trading agreement with Singapore
Gold Supplies Disappearing
Gold in India Sells for $100 or More Over Spot on Black Market (If You Can Find It)
Thailand: the old man of Southeast Asia
Blood In The Water: Shipping Lines' Price War Rages On
Baltic Dry Bear Market Index
Weak global growth to prolong Asian slowdown
What keeps Singapore executives up at night

## Airline Death Spiral ##
German Pilots Grounded as $92,000 Tuition Can't Bring Job
Security check now starts long before you fly
The Transportation Security Administration is expanding its screening of passengers before they arrive at the airport by searching a wide array of government and private databases that can include records like car registrations and employment information.
As newer planes meet airlines' needs, Boeing's iconic 747 faces an uncertain future
The incredible shrinking plane seat
Airlines are adding an extra seat to each row of their coach cabins, reducing seat width to about 17 inches on many international flights.
Jet sees Etihad deal closure even as it posts record loss
Airlines face turbulence, losses could top estimates, says Capa

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
4-Star General: No Plan To Scrap US Military's Africa Command
The Pentagon has no plans to scrap the US military's Africa Command despite growing pressures on the defense budget, the general who leads the headquarters said Wednesday.
Explosion near airport in Damascus 'causes blackouts'
Israel clashes with US as it calls for destruction of Iran's nuclear industry
Lockheed supplying KC-135Js to Saudi Arabia
Rasmussen: NATO won't extend membership to Ukraine, Georgia
In Swat Valley, U.S. drone strikes radicalizing a new generation
US Diplomat: Each US Drone Attack Creates '40 to 60' New Enemies
Pakistan PM Adamant: US Drone Strikes Must Stop
UN and French forces in 'large-scale' operation in Mali
Nigeria pirate attack: US sailors seized
White House concerned by increase in piracy in West Africa
Iran Halts 20 Percent Uranium Enrichment
EU may re-impose sanctions on Iran ship line despite court order
Japan to set up national security hotline with Britain

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Desperate Chinese Villagers Turn To Self-Immolation
Thousands protest China bank layoffs
Brazil Riots Threaten World Cup as Nation Prepares for Games
Saudi women inching closer ever to the wheel
Saudi officials warn against new driver ban protests
Coup opponents warn Egypt heading towards civil war

## Energy/resources ##
The Scramble for Africa's Oil
The global scramble for Africa's estimated 25 billion barrels of oil is on. Those scrambling to secure (and/or exploit) the continent's abundance of fossil fuels include each oil-rich nation's political and economic Elites, international oil corporations, regional powers, trading blocs and the four major (and energy-hungry) economic players: the E.U., the U.S., Japan and China.
Africa faces water crisis despite discovery of huge aquifers
Europe taking a pass on shale revolution?
"Whether shale gas becomes a success story in Europe or not, whether it is profitable or not, we need to remain consistent with our long-term strategy of a low carbon, resource-efficient economy," Potocnik said.
Why Iran's Influence May Decide Pakistan's Energy Fate
The Future of Solar: Sink or Securitize
This is just brilliant. As everyone knows, securitization in the housing industry was a screaming success. If the solar industry needs financial hocus-pocus to progress, its future is perhaps not so bright. -- RF
The Reason $90 Crude Oil Could be Coming: Pro
Remember: Low crude prices threaten production. The "pros" perhaps do not consider this. -- RF
Crude oil: another collapse ahead?
Remember 2008? This item sums nicely up our situation between a rock and a hard place. -- RF
Reasons Behind the Sell-off in Crude Oil
Kazakhstan's Kashagan Field Needs Some Weeks to Resume Output
A consortium developing Kazakhstan's giant Kashagan oilfield said on Thursday it needs a few weeks to resume production cut by an industrial accident on Oct. 9, which means commercial output will not go ahead this month as planned.
South Korea to close another nuclear reactor for welding quality checks

## Got food? ##
Analysis - Lack of crop rotation slowly turns Argentine Pampas into "sand"
The loss of fertility is a slow-burning threat to crop yields at a time when importers are counting on the world's No. 3 corn and soybean supplier to increase output to help meet the boom in demand expected over the decades ahead.
Top 11 bug recipes
McDonald's New 'Dollar Menu' Goes Up to $5
How to Cure Sweet Potatoes
More Chicken Drama: Super Salmonella Lands in Our Kitchens

## Environment/health ##
Monsanto Co. calls for better controls on agrochemicals including Roundup after AP report
Strokes Killing Younger People as Unhealthy Habits Rise
Report: Carcinogens, Air Pollution in Canada's 'Industrial Heartland'

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
US Court Rules Against 'Highly Intrusive' GPS Tracking by Police
Bell to begin tracking web histories, TV habits and mobile app usage unless customers opt out (Canada)
It's Even Easier Than We Feared to Blind Utility Substations
And there are easier ways yet to cause widespread mayhem. Which brings me back to the question of why there are no terrorists attacks against countless soft targets. The answer is either that would-be terrorists are the dumbest people on Earth, or that the terrorist threat is trumped up. You be the judge. -- RF
Claim on "Attacks Thwarted" by NSA Spreads Despite Lack of Evidence
Germany says U.S. may have monitored Merkel's phone
Germans switch to national email providers after US scandal
NSA monitored calls of 35 world leaders after US official handed over contacts
Growing list of countries protest U.S. spying
PLA electronic reconnaissance ship in Hawaiian waters
Hackers targeting energy subcontractors for big steals
Mozilla's Lightbeam tool will expose who is looking over your shoulder on the web

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Rising Energy Costs Lead to Recession; Eventually Collapse
Russell Brand: 'Revolution Is Coming... I Ain't Got a Flicker of Doubt'

## Japan ##
Chart Of The Day: "Japan Has No Alternative But To Print And Print And Print"
Panasonic to slash chipmaking workforce by half: Nikkei
Panasonic Corp (6752.T) plans to dramatically cut back on chipmaking, slashing the business's 14,000-strong workforce by half and possibly selling some plants, the Nikkei said.
Panasonic to sell subsidiary Sanyo's headquarters in Osaka: sources
TEPCO eyes fuel removal from Fukushima No. 4 unit starting early Nov.
TEPCO employee found dead in apparent suicide
Gas stations eyeing cartel for tax hike
Japan says exports almost flat as shipments to Asia slow down
Japan's government downgraded its assessment of export performance for the second consecutive month in October on slowing shipments to Asia -- suggesting external demand may now contribute less to Japan's growth than initially anticipated.
Japan secrecy act stirs fears about press freedom, right to know
The new law would dramatically expand the definition of official secrets and journalists convicted under it could be jailed for up to five years.
Japan readies huge island war games amid YouTube PR push
Abe says China's maritime advances must be kept in check
Japan scaling down 2020 Olympic stadium after criticism of cost
Rice production policy up for review
One for the road. Traffic signal crashes in Hiroshima
Another sign of how old and decrepit Japan's infrastructure has become. -- RF
Japan's core CPI rose 0.7% in September
Despite signs of accelerating inflation, analysts say the policies are actually hurting consumers.

## China ##
China's Insatiable Hunger for Energy Resources
Given the difficulties in increasing domestic output to underwrite the country's relentless economic growth, in the last four years Chinese companies, including China National Offshore Oil Co. (CNOOC) and Sinopec have spent more than $100 billion worldwide to secure oil and gas assets.
Report: Chinese Censorship Expanding Abroad
China manufacturing rises to 7-month high
China stocks sink after major banks write off debt
Looming China debt crisis resurfaces as a market fear
Wal-Mart to open up to 110 new China stores by 2016
Beijing to promote industrialization of GM crops

## UK ##
Britain's Energy Crisis Goes From Bad To Worse; 'People are going to have to choose between keeping warm and eating.'
Scottish Power to raise prices by 8.6% from 6 December
Natural disaster: Government's new index reveals huge decline for Britain's most endangered wildlife

## US ##
September Jobs Report: Recovery-Less Recovery
Six feet under as a retirement plan?
Many middle-class Americans plan to work until they die
Faber: "1 Trillion Dollars A Month" Money Printing Coming
McDonald's helps workers get food stamps
Army Chief: US Not Ready for Huge Future Wars
Families Blocked by Investors From Buying U.S. Homes
Bank of America to cut 3,000 jobs in fourth quarter
Urban Shield: 'The Epitome of State Repression' Coming to Town Near You
SWAT teams, police forces, and military contractors from across the world will converge in Oakland, California this weekend—October 25-28—for a little-known 'Urban Shield' global training exercise and weapons technology expo that is bankrolled by millions of dollars from the Department of Homeland Security and arms manufacturers and is billed as a program to fight 'terrorism.'
FYI: Urban Shield website
Student homelessness hits record high
Americans lacking in basic skills
American adult proficiency in literacy, numeracy and problem solving ranks as some of the lowest among developed countries, despite a relatively high level of education, according to a recent survey.
Most Americans accumulating debt faster than they're saving for retirement
Pawn shops: The poor man's bank? (video)
Pensions ask retirees to pay back tens of thousands
Soros backs Hillary Clinton-for-president super PAC
Penney's Woes Could Squeeze U.S. Malls

And finally…
Malaysian university gives Kim Jong Un an honorary degree
The Most Ridiculous Excuses For Calling In Sick, 2013

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