Sunday, November 17, 2013


News Links, November 16-18, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Germany opposes rescuing ailing banks with EU money
NY factories slow down in November in bad sign for U.S. economy
Youth unemployment could wreck Europe's economic recovery
Young and educated in Europe, but desperate for jobs
Telecom Italia Cut to Junk by S&P After Moody's Downgrade
China Overtakes India As World's Largest Gold Consumer
Caterpillar to close another mining equipment plant
Caterpillar Inc (CAT.N) said on Friday that it will close another plant and lay off 240 additional workers as it continues to respond to a sharp drop in demand for its earth-moving products from customers in the mining industry.
Online Pawnshops for 1 Percent Turn Conspicuous Consumption Into Cash
India Gold Premium Hits Record 21.6%
The road to demolition: Inside a Spanish ghost town
Asia's aging crisis explained in one graphic
Global Economy: Evaporating inflation, elusive growth
Inflation around the world hits low; phenomenon not seen for years
France Tax Revenues €5.5 Billion Lower than Expected; Poll Shows 92% Do Not Believe Hollande's Tax Promises
Bitcoin Price Hits $500, a 50x Increase in Just 12 Months

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Russia's Aeroflot rules out buying, or aiding, Alitalia
American-US Air deal driven more by fuel prices, not ticket prices
Lufthansa Cuts First Class Seats, Ousts Air-Miles Hunters
Grounding of Nigerian airlines caused deadly turbulences for the aviation industry
Gulf carriers' 15 minutes of jet order hysteria
The Middle East: The new aviation hub?
The latest air warfare: Seat sizes

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Welcome to Honduras, the most dangerous country on the planet
Dozens dead in clash with Libyan militiamen in Tripoli
State of emergency declared in Libyan capital
Venezuela's Maduro gets special powers, may bypass legislators
Historic deal with Iran close, Russia says
'Quite possible' Iran, powers can reach nuclear deal next week: U.S. official
Israel said to be working with Saudi Arabia on Iran strike plan
Exports of Russian military helicopters up 20 percent
Senator: US Soldiers Being Killed by Terror Groups Backed With US Money
Soviet-Era Aircraft Carrier Buoys India Navy In Race With China
Why are Companies that Support Anti-American Terrorism Given Pentagon Contracts in Afghanistan?
Prince Bandar bin Sultan, Saudi Arabia's Gatsby, Master Spy

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Anti-Drone Movement Speaks: 'End the Secrecy, No to Kill List'
More than 2,000 trucks block French highways to protest freight tax
Between 2,000 and 4,000 freight trucks closed off major French highways and slowed traffic to a crawl on nine roadways to protest a proposed environmental tax on heavy loads.
Protests in 263 Cities Around the World as 'Arctic 30' Mark 2 Months in Prison
Attack on police station in China's Xinjiang region leaves 11 dead
Greeks rally against austerity, mark 40 years since student revolt
Two dead in Iraq unrest, six militants die in attacks

## Energy/resources ##
Iraq's Ambitions Crumble As Oil Giants Opt Out
Five years on from the great global race for Iraqi oil, the torn country is battling crumbling infrastructure and political tensions. Will Iraq ever reach its potential?
Fears Confirmed: Offshore Fracking a Toxic Mess
Spaniards Producing Illegal Solar Power Face Police Raids and €60 million Fines
Despite PR Push, Nuclear Still Faces Uphill Battle
I still can't comprehend how anyone could call nuclear power "clean." -- RF
Oil port complex protest hits Libya's electricity supply
Enquest: $6.4 billion slated to develop Kraken oil field in North Sea
Protests force Baker Hughes to stop work in Iraq
Newcomers step up as oil majors ditch old North Sea fields
Just one of many articles these days which describe the dwindling resource base and the increasing effort needed to exploit it. -- RF
The Sour Gas Eating Kashagan Oil Profits
Shale Revolution Spreads With Record Wells Outside U.S.: Energy
Niko Resources future in doubt, shares plunge
Norway's oil output 9 pct short of target in Oct
Norway's oil and gas output missed forecasts by a wide margin in October as a long list of fields suffered outages, the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said on Friday.
The IEA Finally Gets it Right
The IEA has consistently issued wildly optimistic energy-production forecasts, but now even the IEA is saying that shale drilling is a flash in the pan. -- RF
Water Shortages Could Dry Up Shale Gas Craze
French plans for more wind farms fans controversy
Most of the world's solar panels are facing the wrong direction
Contested Sino-Myanmar oil pipeline nears completion

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Cable theft leaves North Lincs villagers without broadband
Theft of live electricity cables causes Magherafelt powercut

## Got food? ##
High levels of acrylamide in food may increase cancer risk
Food Safety Modernization Act: The End of Fresh, Living Food?
Cheese thieves: UK middle classes turn to stealing food they can't afford
See How Food Stamp Cuts Are Hitting Across The U.S.

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Living on Two Paychecks or on Too Many Expectations?
Lifestyle Inflation: How to Earn More, Spend More, and Get Nowhere
Are you enslaving yourself to an expensive lifestyle dictated by corporations? Do you really need all that stuff to be happy and fulfilled, and to live a meaningful life? For many people, it's time to honestly evaluate their situations and shed all the useless, damaging, and debt-generating crap. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Destruction of Brazil's Amazon jumps 28%
Outcry as Canada Considers Nuclear Waste Facility on US Border
Costa Rica's biodiverse Osa Peninsula on the verge of collapse
Climate clues as dengue fever spreads in US
Vietnam Floods, After Days of Rains, Kill 26, Government Says
Chevron pipeline fire continues to burn
'Superbugs could erase a century of medical advances,' experts warn

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
CIA Creating Vast Database of American's Personal Financial Records: Report
Police departments have NSA-like spying powers for social media monitoring
How Prepared is the Oil Industry for a Cyber War?
Israeli Cyber Game Drags US, Russia to Brink of Mideast War
Court Orders DHS to Release "Internet Kill Switch" Plans
Your Phone Number Is Going To Get A Reputation Score
Security Expert: "Buy American Doesn't Sell Well Anymore Because It Means Give A Copy To The NSA"
Silicon Valley Nerds Seek Revenge on NSA Spies With Coding
The Internet Is Now Weaponized, And You Are The Target
FBI warns of U.S. government breaches by Anonymous hackers
Most still believe in JFK assassination conspiracy
And with damn good reason. -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Must read: What's Ahead? Lower Oil Prices, Despite Higher Extraction Cost
The author identifies a number of negative feedback loops which result in demand destruction and a deflationary spiral, thereby dragging oil prices lower. But, as we have seen from recent news reports, oil production costs are rising, while at the same time investors are resisting capex increases. That puts us between a rock and a hard place. As I noted the other day, this will lead to a collapse in oil production unless substantially more capital is invested in exploration and development. Have a nice day! -- RF
Fewer Cars, Less Driving, Lower Fuel Consumption Add Up Falling U.S. Demand for Oil
Is There a Market for "Dark Energy"?
Although written in a very upbeat manner, this shows how desperate the situation has become, and the unintended message is clear: "Lights Out!" The sudden need for energy-saving technologies and lifestyles is promoted as progress, but actually reveals that we're teetering on the edge. -- RF

## Japan ##
Rice Plan Signals End of Era as New World Farmers Beat Ol
Japan's Tepco to shed more than 1,000 jobs-sources
Fukushima Watch: Remote-Controlled Boat Gives Glimpse of Damaged Reactor Building
TEPCO to start fuel removal from Fukushima No. 4 unit Monday
64% of college students graduating next March find jobs
JAXA to freeze astronaut recruitment
Former JR Hokkaido rail official on data falsification: It was 'anything goes'
A former long-term employee with Hokkaido Railway Co. (JR Hokkaido) has opened up on his involvement in a recent rail inspection data-cooking scandal, telling the Mainichi Shimbun in an interview that staff shortages left workers no option but to doctor the data.
U.S. advocacy group advisor rides on maglev train on test track
Maglev lines will not be built in either country. -- RF
Japan to tap civilian technology for military use
Japan is finalizing a budget for a new command center for cutting-edge research modeled after the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to try to tap a broad swathe of civilian technologies with potential military uses.

## China ##
China's October power consumption up 9.5 pct y/y
China's smog threatens health of global coal projects
China Shows Us How to Not Fight Air Pollution
China's largest freshwater lake shrinking alarmingly
Understanding China's Arctic Policies
China becomes world's top gold buyer
Chinese Balk at Child-Rearing Costs
Chinese speculators buying up diapers in Japan
Doubt cast on drive to cut steel capacity
Local governments' fears over loss of growth momentum, tax revenues and jobs likely to constrain the clampdown amid dwindling demand
China halts land applications for new aluminum projects on excess capacity
China's Ministry of Land and Resources Monday suspended land applications for new projects in the aluminum, cement, steel and glass sectors with immediate effect due to surplus capacity in these industries.

## UK ##
NHS winter crisis as 40 per cent rise in cancelled operations
Alarming signs of an NHS winter crisis emerged tonight with official figures showing a 42 per cent rise in cancelled operations and a 23 per cent increase in elderly people stuck in hospital

## US ##
The Federal Reserve Is Monetizing A Staggering Amount Of U.S. Government Debt
U.S. industrial output falls on utilities, mining
Moody's cuts top banks' debt ratings; doubts feds would bail them out
Municipal Bankruptcy? Why Not! And so The Floodgates Open
U.S. Postal Service Has Seventh Straight Yearly Loss, Faces $40B Shortfall
Eight Choices for "Generation Wait"; Percentage of Young Adults Moving Hits 50-Year Low
Are Foreign Buyers Propping-up The US Real Estate Market?
Ex-Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to join Wall Street equity firm
U.S. Car Buyers Lever Up to Record Levels
Why Detroit's lights went out, and how the city plans to get them back on
The Onion Revealed As Mystery Source Of Larry Summers' And Paul Krugman's Economic Insight
I'm on record as saying that bubbles are now the only way to keep the economy afloat. The Onion agrees with me. And now the experts are lining up behind us! -- RF
The rise of the 'partial retirement'

And finally…
British couple apologizes to burglars for not having more valuables
Florida man impersonates cop to get Dunkin' Donuts discount
This Bulletproof Suit Lets You Escape the Line of Fire in Style

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