Thursday, December 05, 2013


News Links, December 5-6, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Young and working numerous part-time jobs to make a living (Canada)
Taxed to the Point of No Recovery; France Plans Tougher "Exit Tax"
Ukraine Officials Scour Globe for Cash as Protests Build
Unilever streamlines products, cuts jobs to confront world slowdown
Korea Exchange to begin physical gold trading
Korea Exchange Inc. will begin physical gold trading on March 24 as Park Geun Hye's government seeks to wring tax revenue out of a market that's dominated by illegal transactions.
Brazil's economy shrinks 0.5% in the third quarter
Greece's doctors to get dose of austerity medicine
Unemployed Greeks Reconnect as Underground Electricians Defy Law
Help Wanted Ad Shows Depths Of Spain's Unemployment Problem
Job Cuts Loom at European Banks as Economy Pinches Fees
Bleak outlook for WTO deal as rifts widen over subsidies
World Trade Organization In Crisis – The WTO Is A Western Cartel That Emerging Countries Are Beginning To Resist
Simmering in a Pot of Misery
A Gallup survey shows rising European joblessness is accompanied by falling living standards as Nearly Half of Younger Southern Europeans Underemployed.
France Unemployment Surges To 16 Year High
Spain Raids Social Security Reserve Fund to Meet Deficit Targets; New Rules Compound Deficit Woes for Spain, Italy
People Are Buying A Lot Of Silver And Gold With Their Bitcoins

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Regional airports grounded by drop in prices and traffic (UK)
"There are very few really profitable airports in the UK."
Nigeria's Aerotropolis project to create over 10 million jobs - Minister
The plans get increasingly grandiose. -- RF
Airlines Lobby to Kill Plan for Passenger Security Fee
Glass exit portals: Security to leave the airport
Qantas Forecasts A$300 Million Loss Amid Virgin Market Fight
Qantas Airways Ltd. (QAN), Australia's largest carrier, fell the most in 18 months after announcing 1,000 job cuts and forecasting a A$300 million ($271 million) first-half loss amid a "marked deterioration" in conditions.
Emerging budget deal making it costlier to see grandma: airline group

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Canada claims North Pole: Canada will take on Russia and Denmark over the North Pole
Russia Opens Artic Military Base to Protect Against US Threat
France Allows Private Security Companies to Protect its Shipping Fleet
France takes 'immediate' military action amid CAR clashes
Egypt police brutality 'unchecked'
Anarchy at door, West starts to rebuild Libyan army
US halts shipments from Afghanistan through Pakistan
24 JH-7A bombers stationed at PLA air base closest to Japan: Kanwa
Truck carrying 'extremely dangerous' radioactive material found after it was stolen in Mexico
The thieves are likely either dead or dying following the incident.
Both Public and 'Establishment' Elite See US Power in Decline
Northrop starts production of Global Hawk UAS for NATO
Iran eyes better ties with UAE after nuclear deal with West
Afghan ministers will not sign US pact unless demands met: Karzai
Putin Battles Europe for Former Soviet States Amid Kiev Protests
Clashes erupt as militia enter Central African Republic capital
Rep. Hunter: US Should Use Tactical Nukes on Iran if Strikes Become Necessary
Secular Syria Rebels Mull Rejoining Govt to Fight al-Qaeda
US-China spy games in storm-hit Philippines? Pacific power play simmers.
Saudis behind blasts at Iran embassy, Hezbollah says
China, US and Britain: Tact needed as global power shifts
"Children in America are rewarded - not punished - for challenging the status quo," [Biden] told them.
What a pile of BS and a Grand Lie! Certainly Biden does not believe that himself. In the US, as in China or any other country, the status quo is zealously defended and preserved by a small group of privileged elites, and the rest of us toe the line or pay the consequences. -- RF
Suicide bomber, gunmen kill 52 at Yemeni defense ministry

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Looting spreads in Argentina's third largest city as police go on strike
Romanian Fight Against Fracking Heats Up As Winter Sets In
'Low Pay Is Not OK': Fast Food Workers Rise Up with Nationwide Protests
Ukraine police give protesters deadline, PM brands them 'Nazis'
Protesters form human chain around Diet building as Japan's ruling bloc pushes 'state secrets' bill
Midnight Sabotage with Transylvania's Anti-Fracking Activists

## Energy/resources ##
Power struggle: Green energy versus a grid that's not ready (US)
Minders of a fragile national power grid say the rush to renewable energy might actually make it harder to keep the lights on.
South Korea approves restart of nuclear reactor; 6 still offline
Costs Derail Giant UK Offshore Wind Farm
Expectations were that costs would come down as offshore wind advanced, but that hasn't necessarily been the case. Meanwhile, subsidies have come under pressure.
Why Isn't ExxonMobil in the Renewables Business?
Iraq Nears Deal on Oil Output Targets
Iraq's oil minister said Tuesday the country is close to agreeing to sharp cuts with major Western oil companies in production targets set out for them at some of its largest oil fields, casting doubts over Iraq's ambitious oil output targets.
The predictions and targets were unrealistic from the outset. Iraq's infrastructure — including that of its oil industry — is a pile of junk necessitating massive investments of time and money for rebuilding and upgrading. -- RF
Bicycle Sales Outpace Cars as European 'Bike Revolution' Gains Speed
India needs $2.1 trillion investment for energy: IEA
OPEC to leave oil output levels unchanged in 2014
Resource-hungry Chinese lead railroad drive in Africa
The Chinese, investing heavily in Africa to secure its oil and other raw materials for their expanding economy, are spearheading a new era of railroad building to unlock the continent's interior.
South Africa may put off nuclear power plan until 2025
Iran Threatens Price War: Oil at $20 a Barrel?
Not a chance. -- RF
Why Canada's Oil Sands Look Like a Shaky Investment
A new study (PDF) examining the economics of Western Canada's oil sands finds that even if the Keystone XL pipeline gets built, it's unlikely that extracting the heavy, tar-like oil around Alberta will remain commercially viable over the next decade.
How Alberta's Oil Sands are Produced
Rest in Peace: The List of Deceased Solar Companies, 2009 to 2013
Vestas Says Mexican Wind Farm Project Delayed Further
India to be main driver of oil demand after 2020
For IEA, shale has no long-term impact on oil price
Beneath the Hype: Track Records and Physical Evidence Cast Doubts on Stories of Oil Plenty
Shell Cancels US Gas-To-Liquids Plant As Costs Rise
Royal Dutch Shell said on Thursday it has canceled a proposed gas-to-liquids (GTL) plant in Louisiana less than two years after the plan surfaced as costs rose and the company reins in spending.
BP Pushes Technical Limits To Tap Extreme Fields
Norway Sees Record Oil Investments, Rising Costs In 2014
Norway's oil and gas investments will jump to a record next year but the high level of activity and bottlenecks will also pose a serious cost challenge, the statistics agency said on Thursday.
The challenges keep growing and the costs keep rising. There's plenty of oil there for the getting, and the technology can no doubt be developed. But expense will be the ultimate killer. -- RF

## Got food? ##
Why milk prices could soar to $8
After food stamps are cut, families turn more often to pantries

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Forget about copper wiring; metal thieves steal entire historic lamppost
Thieves remove 400-lb storm drain covers
Woodford church repeatedly plundered for its lead roof by metal gang

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Christmas shopping so stressful it triggers primal 'fight or flight' response

## Environment/health ##
Forget water: 'Fracking' creates sand boom, concerns mount
The concerns about sand, however, are starting to pop up. Last month,  Inside Climate News ran an article about "frac sand" processing facilities and transport centers in Wisconsin, where the number of such plants has increased to 145 from seven just three years ago. The silica sand has been implicated in "thousands" of cases of lung disease silicosis and has created divisions in communities across the state, Inside Climate News has  said. Republican state legislators have proposed a bill that would eliminate local government oversight of the facilities.
Flammable Water Near Gas Drilling Sites in Louisiana
New Report: Unregulated Contaminants Common in Drinking Water
Traces of 18 unregulated chemicals were found in drinking water from more than one-third of U.S. water utilities in a nationwide sampling, according to new, unpublished research by federal scientists. Included are 11 perfluorinated chemicals, an herbicide, two solvents, caffeine, an antibacterial compound, a metal and an antidepressant.
Targeted radioactive bomb might clean out AIDS virus, study finds
As hospital prices soar, a single stitch tops $500 (US)
With blood oozing from deep lacerations, the two patients arrived at California Pacific Medical Center's tidy emergency room. Deepika Singh, 26, had gashed her knee at a backyard barbecue. Orla Roche, a rambunctious toddler on vacation with her family, had tumbled from a couch, splitting open her forehead on a table.
Second Meningitis Outbreak Erupts In Southern California
Coal rush ravages Indonesian Borneo
Mines occupy more than 70 percent of Samarinda, government data show, forcing entire villages and schools to move away from toxic mudslides and contaminated water sources.
Dementia cases 'set to treble worldwide' by 2050
France's 58 Nuclear Pools Must Be Safer, Watchdog Says

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
2 million Facebook, Gmail and Twitter passwords stolen in massive hack
JPMorgan warns 465,000 card users on data loss after cyber attack
Nation's Libraries Warn of NSA's 'Ravenous Hunger' for Data
NSA Collecting 5B Cellphone Locations A Day, News Report Says
NSA Is Tracking Mobile Phone Location On So Many People It Can't Handle The Data Storage
This Is How The NSA Is Tracking You This Instant
Someone's Been Siphoning Data Through a Huge Security Hole in the Internet
Electronic pickpocketing risk from radio-frequency gadgets
President Unleashes The Obama Youth To Preach Obamacare Gospel
Developer, FTC settle charges that flashlight app secretly sold users' locations to marketers
The 'Outdated Law' That Gives Govt Warrantless Access to Your Online Data
Smart grid cybersecurity: Worse than you think, says IT expert

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Saudis face 4 million road accidents a year by 2030
Saudi's atrocious road safety record could spiral to 4 million accidents a year by 2030 unless there is better discipline by motorists and enforcement of traffic laws, it was reported.
Chaos, riots, looting as police go on strike in Argentine city

## Japan ##
Island spat dulls appeal of China as production base for Japan firms: survey
Japan readies $182 billion economic package, no new debt needed: sources
Fukushima water tanks: leaky and built with illegal labour
Gov't to consider discharging Fukushima toxic water into sea
Japan whistleblowers face crackdown under proposed state secrets law
Whistleblowers and journalists in Japan could soon find themselves facing long spells in prison for divulging and reporting state secrets, possibly including sensitive information about the Fukushima nuclear disaster and the country's souring relations with China.
Local residents shut out of public hearing on state secrets bill
Japanese movie industry forms group against state secrets bill
Japan's Government Railroads Controversial Secrets Bill
Nikkei Futures Tumble 800 Points As JPY Strengthens And "Beta" Soars
BOJ Beat: 'No Free Lunch' for Sustained Wage Rises

## China ##
China grapples with natural-gas shortage
Winter has only just started, and China is experiencing its biggest natural-gas shortage ever.
Chinese fund sells off Japanese investments in retaliation
China bans banks from handling Bitcoin trade
China Reforms Seen Adding Less Than Half Point to Growth
Severe smog chokes China; Nanjing issues a code red

## UK ##
George Osborne announces £1bn-a-year spending cuts
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
E.ON to announce £50 increase in gas and electricity bills
The last of Britain's "Big Six" suppliers will announce it is upping bills by nearly 4pc, after reviewing plans for a bigger 6.6pc rise
Food poverty in UK has reached level of 'public health emergency', warn experts
State pension age to be raised to 70 for today's young workers
Ditch French and German for Mandarin lessons, says David Cameron as his visit to China draws to a close
British Insurers to Invest $41 Billion in Infrastructure
Hurricane-force gusts slam U.K.; tidal surge looming
Lord Browne: fracking will not reduce UK gas prices

## US ##
Here Is The "Growth" - Inventory Hoarding Accounts For Nearly 60% Of GDP Increase In Past Year
As we reported earlier, while on the surface the headline revised Q3 GDP number was a stunner coming at 3.6%, the reality is that more than 100% of the growth from the initial estimate came from a revised estimate of how many private Inventories were stockpiled in the quarter. The reality was that of the $230 billion in total increase in SAAR GDP, $146 billion of this, or over 63%, was due to inventory stockpiling.
Looming U.S. Retail Implosion: DeGrowth 2014
Gridlock in Congress could leave millions hurting over the holidays
Detroit's Pension Ruling: Should Workers in Other Broke Cities be Scared?
Illinois Approves Rescue Of Its Ailing Pension System
Construction starts on Las Vegas mall modeled after Istanbul's Grand Bazaar
Americans Want Congress Members To Pee In Cups To Prove They're Not On Drugs
Considering the dysfunctional state of Congress, you've got to wonder what they are smoking. -- RF
Foreclosures rising among luxury homes
Number of Banks and Percentage of Problem Banks Over Time
Too Big To Fail Banks Are Taking Over As Number Of U.S. Banks Falls To All-Time Record Low
Here's Why Cheap Oil & Gas Could Soon Disappear
Average student loan debt: $29,400
The average debt load for the class of 2012 was $29,400 -- up more than 10% from the previous year, according to a report released Wednesday by the Institute for College Access & Success' Project on Student Debt.
At Least 11 Teens With Tumors In Small Town Hope Erin Brockovich Will Help
'Theft of power' lands electric-car driver in jail
Why the jobless rate is larger than you think
Auto Lending Standards Plunge: New Car Loans Average 110% LTV; Used Car Loans 133% LTV with 55% Subprime! Repossessions Up Sharply
How Crazy Is The Auto Financing Frenzy?
Nothing can possibly go wrong.
These Four U.S. States Are Set to Contract
More than a dozen states grovel before Boeing in bid to share in riches of next-generation 777
Fast-Food Workers Cry Poverty Wages As McDonald's Buys Luxury Jet
Low bank wages costing the public millions, report says
Almost a third of the country's half-million bank tellers rely on some form of public assistance to get by, according to a report due out Wednesday.
For the First Time In 50 Years, a Majority of Americans Think the U.S. Should "Mind Its Own Business"
Banks Reluctant to Lend in Shale Plays as Evidence Mounts on Harm to Property Values Near Fracking
Ten Cities Where Poverty Is Soaring

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