Sunday, December 08, 2013


News Links, December 7-9, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
France struggles in EU to stem low-cost foreign workers
Spain's Bad Bank "FROB" Admits More Taxpayer Bailouts Likely
Taipei's high property prices constitute bubble: finance minister
Greece to restore electricity to homes cut off, after deaths
Mexico Housing Hits U.S. Investors as Plan Collapses
Power outages drag on for hours at a time. Neighboring townhouses lie abandoned by the hundreds, giving criminals a growing foothold in the community. The stench of overflowing sewage permeates the development.
Black Friday in Canada turns into 'reality check' for retailers
Arab youth unemployment costing $50bn a year - survey
Investors join gold rush for European infrastructure
'Rank Hypocrisy': WTO Deal Bows to Wealth, Squashes the Poor
Weapons of Last Resort: ECB Considers Extreme Crisis Measures
The European Central Bank wants to spur lending by banks in Southern Europe, but conventional methods have shown little success so far. On Thursday, ECB officials will consider monetary weapons that were previously considered taboo.
Europe repeating all the errors of Japan as deflation draws closer
Europe is one shock away from a deflation trap. A surprise anywhere in the world is all that it needs: an upset in China as the credit bubble pops, or a global bond shock as the US Federal Reserve winds down monetary stimulus.
Gold: Physical Supply Never Been Tighter
Wednesday I had the privilege again to interview Alex Stanczyk, Chief Market Strategist for the Anglo Far- East group of companies, who just returned from a trip to Switzerland. Alex confirmed to me the distribution of gold from west to east is not slowing down whatsoever. Refineries in Switzerland are still working 24 hour a day to cast bars for China, sometimes having difficulties sourcing the gold.
Bitcoin Crashes, Loses Half Of Its Value In Two Days
Ex Greek FinMin Warns "Europe's North-South Divide Has Become A Time Bomb"
The Bitcoin Derivatives Market Has Arrived
Shiller's and Roubini's fears of Swedish housing bubble are justified
State is an Institution of Theft (Except of Course for Politicians and their Escape Hatches)

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Qantas Airways credit rating downgraded to junk status after forecasting steep half-year loss
Qantas to feel borrowing pain as rating junked
Flights delayed as air pollution hits record in Shanghai
Hundreds of flights were delayed or cancelled on Friday in China's commercial hub of Shanghai as record levels of air pollution shrouded the city in smog, prompting authorities to issue the highest level of health warning.
Airports sue TSA over who guards the exits
Pilot shortage grounds flights in small markets; airlines blame new regulations
Memphis Airport: From 350 to 50 Flights Daily?
Memphis International Airport, one of the Mid-South's major economic engines, is in rapidly declining health. Flights are declining and the airport is already dead as a direct international port.
Southwest Airlines cutting service to three cities
"Unfortunately, the level of local demand no longer allows Southwest to profitably serve these markets," said Bob Jordan, Southwest's executive vice president and chief commercial officer, in a statement.
Delta's jet fuel gamble is starting to pay off
Flights delayed and canceled after technical glitch at UK air traffic control center
American Airlines, US Airways to form largest air carrier Monday

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Violence Escalates In Central African Republic; U.N. OKs Troops
U.S. says China air defense zone unacceptable, shouldn't be implemented
Impending Japan-China war has the makings of a Clancy classic
Five out of nine weekly magazines that went on sale last Monday and Tuesday contained scenarios that raised the possibility of a shooting war.
Japan calls for global action against China's new air zone
Kim Jong-un 'preparing to purge aunt'
Socotra Rock belongs to China, says Global Times
South Korea declares expanded air identification zone in disputed area
Defying protesters, Ukraine's Yanukovych meets Putin on pact
Hagel outlines new weapons sale plan for Gulf nations to protect against Iran threat
The grab for Greenland
The world's great powers have the Arctic's natural resources and trade routes in their sights
Huge African troop surge for CAR
U.N. inspectors visit Iranian site linked to nuclear program
White House fights to stop Congress imposing fresh Iran sanctions
Car bomb attacks across Iraq kill at least 39
Iran's Rouhani wants foreign forces out of Afghanistan

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Kiev Rally Draws Hundreds of Thousands in Ukraine
Hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian protesters demanding the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovich took to the central square of Kiev on Sunday in the largest demonstration yet against the ruling government.
Protesters topple Lenin statue in Kiev
More Bangkok Street Protests Coming Up -- A Beginner's Guide
Protests banned at London university after 41 students arrested
Villagers Overrun Drilling Site To Halt Chevron Fracking
Singapore bus death triggers riot

## Energy/resources ##
Vietnam Faces Growing Threat of Power Blackouts: Southeast Asia
Eskom CEO Quits as South African Utility Faces Blackout Threats
Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. Chief Executive Officer Brian Dames resigned as the supplier of most of South Africa's power confronts a deepening threat of blackouts in the continent's largest economy.
Major crisis grazes past power supply in Uttar Pradesh (India)
Will power tariff hike lead to economy crash, Putrajaya asked (Malaysia)
Czech Project Shows Why Nuclear Power Is Fading Away
Iran deal could spell trouble for OPEC, Mideast
Spain's Electricity Sector Spins Back Into Chaos
Royal Dutch Shell Dumps Plans To Build Gulf Coast Plant
Royal Dutch Shell plc announced Thursday that it won't build its proposed gas-to-liquid plant on the Gulf Coast. The European oil giant has been analyzing the feasibility of building a plant in the Gulf of Mexico for almost two years to benefit from the U.S. shale gas boom. But Royal Dutch Shell found it would cost the company more than $20 billion. That's much higher than the company's original estimate of about $12.5 billion.
A Rush to Expand Oil Drilling in the Arctic
This Week in Energy: Japan Burns with 'Fire Ice' Momentum
Huge Fresh Groundwater Reserves Found beneath Ocean Floor
Iran facing water crisis: energy minister
Tanzania raises fuel prices on higher import costs
Gladstone ramp-up a death blow for domestic demand: Michael Fraser (Australia)
EAST coast gas prices could reach more than $10 a gigajoule, causing domestic demand destruction as power generators and industrial users try to cope with the effects of $70 billion of LNG plants being built at Gladstone, AGL Energy chief Michael Fraser has warned.
We're Not About To Run Out Of The Metals To Make Our Electronic Gizmos And Smartphones
It's a matter of price, not about "running out," and a matter of resource quality, not quantity. -- RF
Mexico Joint Energy Proposal to Break $95 Billion Monopoly
Senators from Mexico's two biggest political parties proposed a bill to break the nation's 75-year oil monopoly by amending the constitution to allow production sharing contracts and licenses for outside producers.
Libya lost $7 billion to oil strikes, must find new buyers
Sichuan project running out of gas? (China)
The Shale Oil Boom is More "Mirage" than "Miracle"
The U.S. energy independence story: Will anyone be punished if it turns out to be wrong?
The price of electricity (Philippines)

## Got food? ##
In WTO Deal 'Corporate Rights Trump the Right of People to Food'
California citrus growers toil a 2nd night to fight freezing temperatures, expect some damage
Food fraud doing brisk business in Italy, report says
Fishery Closure Puts New England's Shrimp Season On Ice
Pacific tuna cutbacks inadequate, says fisheries management body
How Big Food Creates an Illusion of Choice at the Supermarket

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
How to survive a personal economic collapse
With all that is being written about the national economic collapse, people seem to be waiting for some huge event. However, for many North Americans, the collapse is here.
12 Mandela Quotes That Won't Be In the Corporate Media Obituaries

## Environment/health ##
The 2011 Japan Tsunami Was Caused By Largest Fault Slip Ever Recorded
Deadly blades: US offers 30-year permits for killing eagles under plan to boost wind industry
Hong Kong Confirms A Second H7N9 Bird Flu Case
Hong Kong quarantines 19 people over second bird flu case

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
British agents in Russia instructed to find Snowden – Canadian NGO
10 Incredibly Simple Things You Can Do To Protect Your Privacy
DARPA's mirror-killing membrane could change astronomy, allow total global surveillance
Japan's Prime Minister Wants New Secrecy Laws; What's a Secret? Anything He Wants To Be Secret
NSA considered spying on Canadians without this country's consent, top-secret directive says
FBI can secretly turn on laptop cameras without the indicator light
IRS using Google Maps to spy on taxpayers
Your iPhone Will Talk to Stores While You Shop
Aviation Week: Air Force's new stealth spy drone is already flying
Cellphone data spying: It's not just the NSA
Local police are increasingly able to scoop up large amounts of cellphone data using new technologies, including cell tower dumps and secret mobile devices known as Stingrays. Here's a closer look at how police do it.
Are your smartphone apps selling you out?

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Must read: Diminishing Returns, Energy Return on Energy Invested, and Collapse
Excellent. In a nutshell, low net energy is pushing industrial society toward a cliff edge. How soon we reach the edge is anyone's guess. While telling us that "everything's gonna be all right," governments are struggling behind the scenes with duct tape and stovepipe wire to hold a rapidly deteriorating system together. The big question for us is: Are we prepared? Have we been busy building communities and networks? A bunker stocked with canned food and lots of weapons and ammo is no long-term or realistic solution. We need mutually supportive communities to pick up the slack where the futile and destructive actions of governments fail. -- RF
Environmentalists, unions, industry seek to fix expensive natural gas pipeline leaks (US)
The Department of Transportation estimates that more than 30,000 miles of decades-old, decaying cast-iron pipe are still being used to deliver gas nationwide.

## Japan ##
Japan passes a democracy-muzzling Patriot Act
Highest radiation levels measured outside reactor
Over 60% of evacuees from Fukushima towns don't plan to return home
More evacuees from the two towns that co-host the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant have given up hope of returning home, a government survey found Dec. 6.

## China ##
China Rongsheng ghost town reflects shipbuilder's struggle to survive
Plans for China's cities with industries in decline
China Still Dominates Rare-Earth Processing
Photos: Heavy Pollution Plagues Shanghai
Liaoning and J-15 jets to conduct drills in South China Sea
Power load may increase
Shanghai's maximum power load could rise up to 9 percent this winter compared to last year due to lower temperatures, but officials said they expect the electricity supply will be sufficient.

## UK ##
It may be lights out for Britain next winter, says npower energy boss
Britain is at risk of power cuts next winter unless major investment takes place in Britain's energy infrastructure, according to industry figures.
IT goes nuclear to bridge the power shortage gap
Autumn Statement: UK growth 'hides disappointing news'
Autumn statement: George Osborne refuses to ease austerity
Retirement age hike 'will result in employment disputes'
East coast surge: homes fall into sea, waves rip at pier, wildlife struggles
Britain's poor 'will die before they retire' if pension reforms aren't matched by health improvements
Unless you are a member of the New Aristocracy, count on dying before you retire. -- RF
E.ON UK last of 'Big Six' to raise retail gas, power prices by 3.7%
Fleeced by wool: Sheep farmers face Victorian levels of poverty, despite keeping the nation warm and fed
Most people classed as being in poverty 'have job'

## US ##
Beneath the Headline Numbers, Not a Good Jobs Report
In essence, this was a bad report, with people dropping out of the labor force like mad.
U.S. pregnancy rate lowest in 12 years
The Chinese Want To Spend Billions Constructing A 600 Acre "China City" In New York State
Gas tax increase may be packaged as 'user fee'
Cape Wind Deadline: Headwinds for Offshore Turbines
McDonald's to workers: Don't forget to tip pool boy
Ice storm pummeling U.S. knocks out power, scuttles flights
Struggling Sears to spin off Lands' End clothing business
Patriot Act author: Obama's intel czar should be prosecuted for lying to Congress
Luxury Home Foreclosures Soar – Up 61% Versus Last Year
High peaks, lofty prices: Skiing increasingly pricing out middle class
Skiers and snowboarders searching for "the steep and deep" this winter may find that the concept has taken on a much less appealing connotation: The price of the sport is getting so steep that some believe it may be becoming the exclusive domain of those whose pockets are exceedingly deep.  
Detroit ruling opens door to pension cuts across the nation
Student loan debt more crippling than ever

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