Sunday, October 27, 2013


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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