Sunday, December 29, 2013

 

News Links, December 29-30, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Southern Italy lost 600,000 jobs since start of recession
France's 75% tax rate gains approval by top court
As populations age and pension costs strain governments, a retirement crisis looms
The Mechanics of Precious Metals Price Manipulation
S&P 500 Hits Most Overbought Level Since May
Turkey corruption crisis pushes lira to record low
Mexico City residents jumping barriers after subway fare goes up
Monte Paschi faces nationalization threat after cash call delay

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Sky-high airport fees choking aviation: IATA chief
Some airline miles won't go as far in 2014, as cost of free tickets rise
Airline delays decline, but there's a catch to those numbers

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Yemeni tribesmen blow up pipeline in south: local official
Yemeni tribesmen blew up a pipeline in the eastern Hadramout province on Saturday, disrupting oil flow two days after they seized an Oil Ministry building in the province, a local government official said.
Why The Turkish Government May Be The Casualty Of A $119 Billion PetroDollar "Loophole"
At least 265 arrested in crackdown on Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood
Uzbekistan signs key CIS free-trade protocol
Feeling snubbed by US, Saudis strengthen ties elsewhere, find unexpected alignment with France
Saudi Arabia to give Lebanon $3 billion to support the national army and buy French weapons
Battle lines are being redrawn in the Middle East. Will the Obama Administration be able to retake Iran in spite of resistance from Israeli-controlled members of Congress? -- RF
Japan to add defense attaches in India
Japan aims to strengthen its defense planning with India to address China's growing military power in the region.
16 die in suicide bombing at railway station in southern Russia, scores wounded
$0.60 for cake, $1.80 for soap, $3 for broom: Al-Qaida records all expenses, runs like company
AQ is obviously far better run than the Pentagon. -- RF
Gang gunfights loom over Rio de Janeiro's World Cup preparations
Security forces beef up presence in Rocinha, the city's largest shanty town, to try and quell worsening violence that is undermining pacification efforts ahead of the 2014 tournament
Russia, China to Ensure Security of Syrian Chemical Stockpile
The New New Great Game: Geography, Energy, The Dollar And Gold
White House doesn't dispute report finding no al Qaeda role in Benghazi attack
New US Rapid Reaction Forces at Work in Africa Crises

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Tens of thousands protest against Niger government
Thousands of Cambodians rally to demand PM steps down
Anti-government protesters clash with Turkish riot police
Fresh Ukraine protests draw thousands onto Kiev streets
Argentina heatwave sparks protests

## Energy/resources ##
Good read: 7 things everyone knows about energy that just ain't so (2013 Edition)
Libya pipeline threatened
Oil security guards in central Libya have threatened to block a gas pipeline to the capital Tripoli unless the government meets their salary demands.

## Got food? ##
Time Is Running Out To Save Florida's Oranges
U.S. Uses 40 Tons of Antibiotics a Day Just to Grow Food
Earning Potential of Market Gardening
Maruha Nichiro unit recalls 6.3 million packages of malathion-contaminated frozen food (Japan)

## Environment/health ##
Elderly Homes Weak Link in Battle Against Superbugs
Brain function 'boosted for days after reading a novel'
Frac sand company fined $80,000
A Texas-based company that processes sand for hydraulic fracturing has been ordered to pay an $80,000 fine for allegedly violating air pollution control laws in the US state of Wisconsin.

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Report lifts lid on NSA hacker unit, says US spies intercept computer deliveries to plant bugs
A German magazine lifted the lid on the operations of the National Security Agency's hacking unit Sunday, reporting that American spies intercept computer deliveries, exploit hardware vulnerabilities, and even hijack Microsoft's internal reporting system to spy on their  targets.
NEMESIS Camouflage Conceals Body Heat From Thermal Sensors
New crime-fighting tool: Photos of victims' eyes?
Afghanistan could risk falling into chaos (video)
"Al-Qaida and other power-hungry groups," says the announcer, with the implication that the US is not a "power-hungry group." Is there any government or political/military organization that is not a "power-hungry group"? Name one. -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Greece waste: Mounds of filth on an island paradise
Hundreds of teens trash mall in wild flash mob (US)
Argentina: 'state of emergency' declared as power and water supplies fail during heatwave
This will all end in an economic collapse: Ron Paul (video)
Fears of social breakdown as gambling explodes in Italy

## Japan ##
Japan Consumer Prices Seen Rising Five Times as Fast as Wages
Abenomics: A smashing success! -- RF
Senkaku: Japan to take foreign reporters on 10-day isle dispute junket
Building of maglev line to start next fall
It may start, but it will never finish. -- RF
Flu season in full swing; western areas hardest hit
Panel wants sea lanes part of self-defense
Japan should be able to exercise the right to collective self-defense in the event that a "grave situation that concerns the security of Japan" emerges while Self-Defense Force ships, for example, are participating in joint patrols of key sea lanes for transporting crude oil and other essential items, according to an outline of a report to be compiled by a government panel.
Tepco Has a Plan for the Future but Won't Say What It Is

## China ##
China formalizes easing of one-child policy
More than 500 lawmakers in China resign over alleged fraud
Loan Sharks Smell Blood in China Waters

## UK ##
Rate rise may put 1.1m homeowners in 'peril'
Those spending more than half their income on mortgages and debt could almost double if the Bank of England raises rates, according to a think tank
Britain faces a month of floods with 'no end in sight'

## US ##
The most vulnerable retirees struggle to survive even with government help
LAPD deploys drug detection swab test at sobriety checkpoints
Out with the old: Americans have little good to say about 2013
In Rural America, School Sports Dying With The Population
Power outages leading to health threats (video)
600 People Involved in Movie Theater Brawl, 5 Arrested
Power outages nag Mich., Maine as new storm threatens
Cold homes heat power controversy in Michigan
McDonald's McResource Problem: Even Good Advice Can't Make Up for Low Wages
These 10 bubbles will pop in new 'Lost Decade'
Wall Street says the last "Lost Decade," which actually started in 2000, just ended. Sorry, but a new Lost Decade is already on the clock, and the clock is ticking. It'll run from 2014 through the 2024 presidential election and probably longer. Worse, it'll be marked by 10 hot bubbles that never exploded in the last Lost Decade. They're still growing. And guaranteed to explode in America's face.
Bubble! Stocks: Break out the champagne!
Detroit Has Large Number Of Homes Worth Less Than $10,000
Chris Christie Expects 'Significant Results' From Faltering Atlantic City Casinos




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