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

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