Thursday, December 12, 2013


News Links, December 12-13, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
What Are The Chances Of Brazil's State-Owned Oil Giant Petrobras Going Bankrupt? 32%, To Be Precise
Some Stunning Perspective: China Money Creation Blows US And Japan Out Of The Water
Global House Price Index Surges To Record High
The 'Depressing' Truth Of Greece's Insolvency
Peugeot hit by 1.1 billion euro writedown, trims GM goals
Dismantle the euro, says Nobel-winning economist who once backed currency union
A leading economist who once argued for the creation of the euro now claims the single currency should be abandoned as it is fuelling unemployment and dividing Europe.
Amount of dirty money leaving developing world jumped 14 percent in 2011: report
Developing countries lost nearly $1 trillion to fraud, corruption and shady business transactions in 2011, vastly outpacing the foreign aid they received and the pace of dirty money leaving emerging nations is accelerating, a new report found.
Social Supermarkets A 'Win-Win-Win' For Europe's Poor
Somewhere between a food pantry and a traditional grocery store lies an opportunity to help feed those in need. Enter "social supermarkets," a European model that offers discounted food exclusively to those in poverty.
Italy backs 8 percent minimum bail-in for ailing banks
Moody's Puts Puerto Rico on Downgrade to Junk Review Citing Very High Debt, Pension Obligations, Chronic Deficits; Exodus Underway
Canada Post to cut urban home deliveries
Canada Post said Wednesday it will phase out urban delivery and cut up to 8,000 employees in five years in an effort to curb losses.
Kellogg's to close London plant in the new year, lay off 500 workers (Canada)
Canada wages soar 60% higher than US amid labor shortage
Energy companies trying to raise almost $50 billion for Canada's first network of natural gas export terminals will face an even more basic challenge: finding the workers to build them... "The lack of skilled workers is a major component for the reason why you're often behind schedule and over budget," said Geoff Hill, partner and oil and gas leader at financial advisers Deloitte Canada in Calgary. A dearth of labor for oil sands and mining will be "exacerbated" by a new wave of construction to enable gas exports, he said.
Avon to stop order management technology roll-out; cuts 650 jobs
North Korea reported to be selling gold to China
Industrial output seen contracting in October (India)
USTR Says TPP Must Be Kept Secret, Because The Public Is Too Stupid To Understand It
Will Opposition in the US and Overseas Derail the Toxic TransPacific Partnership?
South Korea seeks to shakeup bloated state companies
South Korea's government said Wednesday it will tackle massive debts at inefficient state-owned companies by ending lax management and cutting excessive perks for workers.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Spanish 'ghost airport' cost a whopping US$1.5B to build — now it's on sale for as little US$137M
Qantas fuel cost increased three times more than seat kms
In year 9 of  peak oil, Qantas' profits have slipped into the negative. Fuel costs increased much faster than seat kilometres delivered by the airline.
In budget deal, airfare security fees to rise; Delta CEO says travelers will be the ones who pay it
Poll Shows Strong Opposition to In-Flight Cellphone Calls
Chinese pilots 'must be able to land in smog'
Airlines to Earn Record Profits Next Year as Mergers Pay Off
Airlines will post record earnings next year as a wave of consolidation and streamlining prompted by the global slump helps rein in capacity and support prices, the International Air Transport Association said.
Japan, Asean to affirm air safety
Japan and members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will stress the importance of the freedom and safety of air travel in a joint statement, taking a jab at China's air defense identification zone.
Japan's Airlines Alone in Defiance of China's Air Zone

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Car bomb hits near NATO gate at Kabul airport
Hagel Threatens Pakistan: Stop Drone Protests, Or US Will Stop Aid
The Obama-Castro handshake that shocked the world
Suicide bomber attacks German troops near airport in Afghan capital
Iran's Revolutionary Guard head hits out at Hassan Rouhani's government
Yemeni officials say US drone strike hits a convoy heading to wedding party, killing 13
North Korea Executes Purged Uncle of Leader Kim Jong Un
Uruguay 'Breaks The Taboo' And Legalizes Marijuana To Tackle Drug Trafficking
Japan, S Korea hold joint sea drill in China air zone
South Korea reiterates call for Japan to remove Takeshima video
Al-Qaeda Carving Out a State in Western Iraq
Violence is on the rise region-wide, and al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) has its hands in much of it. The group's territorial possessions in Syria may be just the beginning, however, as they are now looking to establish another "state" in Iraq.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Clashes as police try to dislodge Kiev protesters
Occupy Google: Income Inequality Backlash Hits Silicon Valley (+video)
Simmering class tension in San Francisco hit a new level yesterday when protesters stopped a bus that Google hired to transport its workers from the city to Google's headquarters in Mountain View.
#CopsOffCampus: Thousands of London Students Defy Police Order in Day of Action
'Pitchforks' plan Rome march as Italian government survives confidence vote
Bangladesh executes Islamist leader, deadly clashes on streets
Egyptian police fire tear gas and water cannon on protesters
Workers At China Firm's Oil Block In Niger Start 48-Hour Strike

## Energy/resources ##
US Energy Independence: Another Pipe Dream, Says Analyst
Top geoscientist spells out startling depletion rates for high-cost shale gas, tight oil wells.
Power outage crashes BSNL mobile network (India)
Korean firms in $940m floating power plant agreement
Once the design's power generation performance has been tested in Korea, Powerships will be exported to the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil, and other countries where power shortage has become a critical issue, generating a projected $2bn per project.
Nuclear War Could Mean 'Extinction of the Human Race'
Amid Declining Latin American Output, Colombian Oil is Booming
Norway oil and gas investments on rise
It warned though that the higher activity level is fuelling an offshore costs spiral, while technological challenges have also led to cost overruns on some field projects... Operating costs in Norway's oil sector rose by an average of 7% annually from 2005 to 2012, according to state holding company Petoro.
Scientists Discover Quick Recipe for Producing Hydrogen
Well, that's simply amazing. Or is it? There is nothing in the article about the energy balance of this process, which requires high temperature and pressure, making for a considerable energy input. My guess is that the input is considerably greater than the energy of the liberated hydrogen. It's like the story about the man who found a way to make saltwater burn by zapping it with a machine. Energy-savvy people speculated that the zapper used more energy than is gained from the burning saltwater, and indeed, we have heard nothing about it since. Pity. -- RF
Upstream Costs Set to Rise in 2014
Average American consumes 50,000 pounds of raw materials annually for the stuff they buy 
Big Batteries Needed To Make Fickle Wind And Solar Power Work
Soft Costs, Not Hardware Costs, Now Dominate in Solar Installations
Chevron Sets 2014 Budget At $39.8B
Investors are putting increased pressure on the world's biggest oil companies to rein in spending and return more money to shareholders - a trend Royal Dutch Shell Plc recently warned against because it may create oil shortages in the future.
IEA: The Shale Mirage – Future Crude Oil Supply Crunch?
Although the article does not mention EROI, it's obvious from the information presented that the net energy recovered from tight oil is far lower than that of conventional oil. As the writer notes, "All liquids are not equal." The public is being bamboozled into thinking that more barrels equals a commensurate increase in energy being supplied to the economy. Truly, this cornucopia is a mirage that will soon melt away. -- RF
Libyan Finances Squeezed as Protesters Continue To Plague Oil Industry
Russia's Gazprom takes over gas monopoly in Kyrgyzstan for $1
Kingdom embarks on major electrical supply expansion (KSA)
Mexico's Congress approves measure to open oil resources
Another cost blowout for Chevron's Gorgon LNG in Australia
Oil and gas giant Chevron Corporation has revealed the cost of its massive Gorgon liquefied natural gas project on Western Australia's Barrow Island has increased to $54 billion.
It Would Take 4.4 Earths To Sustain A World Full Of Americans
Exxon: Rising Living Standards Propel Energy Needs

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Nearly 3,500 metal theft recorded every year by West Midlands Police

## Got food? ##
China's staple food supply relies heavily on imports
Colorado company recalls 90,000 pounds of meat after rodent discovery
The stomach-churning reason why meat is so cheap
FDA takes steps to phase out antibiotics in meat, asks drug companies to change labeling
How different would the world be if we paid the True Cost of food and farming?
China Rejects More US Corn Amid Rising Trade Conflict
China has blocked the entry of another U.S. corn cargo, and three more may be turned away, after tests found a strain of unapproved genetically-modified corn.

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
The Movement to Live More Simply Is Older Than You Think

## Environment/health ##
Ancient farming seen curbing extinctions of animals, plants
Skilled Medical Staff Shortage Rises Risk to Patients
The Unintended Consequences of Reflective Pavements
Global resistance to TB drugs is 'ticking time bomb'
Bubonic plague killed 20 villagers in Madagascar, health experts confirm
U.S. Natural Disaster Risks Climb
Natural disasters in the United States, such as floods, hurricanes, tornadoes and wildfires, are becoming more common and more costly, both in dollar terms and in terms of lives lost.

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
New York Police Plan to Deploy Patrol Boats for Super Bowl
New York City police will deploy groups of officers with heavy weapons, patrol boats and canine teams as fans gather in the week leading to the 2014 Super Bowl.
Yahoo Mail down multiple days, users vent frustration on Twitter
The Shadowy Spying Networks Transforming Post-9/11 Policing
Bots now 'account for 61% of web traffic'
Media blackout: The Peaceful Protest US Govt Doesn't Want World to Know About
AP Photojournalist Blasts Obama's Press Restrictions As 'Orwellian Image Control'
World's leading authors: state surveillance of personal data is theft
More than 500 of the world's leading authors, including five Nobel prize winners, have condemned the scale of state surveillance revealed by the whistleblower Edward Snowden and warned that spy agencies are undermining democracy and must be curbed by a new international charter.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Long Island Foreclosures Spur Looters Amid Home Limbo
Canada Postman Won't Even Ring Once as Home Delivery Ends
The global retirement dilemma (infographic)
Two-Thirds Say American Dream Is Over
Inequality turning U.S. into a horror show
Leaky government: Detroit's water supply wasted by ravaged pipes
Far from idyll, rural France feels left in the past

## Japan ##
Japanese government plans to approve $53B in supplementary budget
Japan has no third-party oversight body for nuclear secrets
10% of all crimes laid to shoplifting and rate is rising among seniors
Shoplifting cases accounted for nearly 10 percent of all criminal offenses recognized by police, with the rate increasing, according to a National Police Agency survey. By age group, the number of charged shoplifters increased only among people aged 65 or over.
U.S. to install second X-band radar
Japan to spend $970M on nuclear contaminated soil storage
Government takes another stab at unpopular 'conspiracy' legislation
The government is seeking to rejuvenate decade-old legislation to make the act of "conspiracy" a punishable crime, even if no criminal act has been committed.

## China ##
Why China's renewables industry is headed for collapse
Chinese Property Bubble May Collapse in a Year or Two
4 Reasons Growth Pains Will Replace Growth Gains in China
China's Electricity Demand to Double by 2026
Crude oil futures to trade as early as March in Shanghai's pilot FTZ
China puts former security chief under house arrest-sources
New York Times warns China is subjecting foreign journalists to serious harassment
Oil Thieves Cause Sinopec's Worst Ever Pipeline Explosion
Back in November an oil pipeline running through the Chinese city of Qingdao in Shandong province exploded, killing 62 people. It turns out that the pipeline was punctured on average twice a week by thieves siphoning off the oil, and that despite this it had passed a safety check just two months earlier.
Hebei plans to reduce smog by slashing steel capacity

## UK ##
Buses in crisis: Cuts see routes dwindle - despite people using them more than all other forms of public transport in Britain
Living In A Steel Box: Londoners Live In Shipping Containers Due To Soaring Rents

## US ##
Power Restored in Belchertown, Granby After Massive Blackout
Laser Technology Skills Gap a Major Problem in U.S.
The skills gap in U.S. manufacturing has hit a vast array of industries that are having trouble filling their workforce needs with properly trained workers who can step right in and help companies. Yet another suffering area has been the laser and photonics industry.
Government's IT Skills Shortage Points to a Future of Failure
Government agencies are still falling short when it comes to having the top-notch talent needed to effectively develop, leverage or understand technology. And the chances for attracting that talent from the outside are grim as agencies grapple with a severe shortage of workers with technical skills, according to a new report.
Skill shortages prompting job fears in construction sector
Research by the national training organisation CITB noted that a skills shortage in construction is putting a large number of jobs at risk. The company found that 42 per cent of firms within the industry are having difficulty recruiting younger workers with the right set of skills. This lack of new blood coming into the sector has meant that one in 20 businesses are worried that it could be conducive to them going bankrupt.
A Brief Economic Uptick Hides Grim Truths
An aging population means slower growth, but it's not too late to spur productivity.
Calls to boycott Israel grow on US campuses
High-Powered Idiocy from Academic Wonderland; Three Reasons Banks Not Lending; Blinder is Blind
The Case for a Crash
Las Vegas Housing Demand Has Crashed While Supply Surging
Federal safety regulators shut 52 bus companies as part of nationwide crackdown
1.3 million stand to lose unemployment checks by year's end
Some Americans are cutting back -- or not shopping at all -- during the holiday season
U.S. drilling boom leaves some homeowners in a big hole
House, Senate Reach Agreement On National Defense Authorization Act
Retired GM workers just lost $450 million in benefits

And finally...
Florida Man Airs Grievances With Festivus Pole In Capitol
Sacked man sprays excreta in office (China)

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?