Friday, May 31, 2013

 

News Links, May 30-June 1, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Unemployment across euro countries rises to record 12.2 percent in April
OECD warns Europe's economy to worsen this year, threatening global recovery
German Unemployment Increased Four Times Forecast in May
Simmering Feud Between France and Germany Erupts Into Verbal Warfare; France Tells Brussels to Shove It
Thailand Cuts Rate First Time This Year as Growth Slows: Economy
IMF Warns China On Rising Government Debt
Peugeot may need to raise funds as burns cash: sources
Spain's Bankia Decimates Savers As Stock Plummets; Police Officer Stabs Banker Who Sold Him Shares
Alcoa Rating Cut to Junk by Moody's as Aluminum Price Drops
Cyprus Bank Deposits Plunge By Most Ever During "Capital Controls" Month
South Korea Industrial Output Grows in April After Months of Contraction
Power shortage cripples south India's industrial belts
Thailand's manufacturing production index lowest in 16 months
Greek Islands for Sale
The China "Miracle" Is Collapsing Before Your Eyes
Gold Bar "Supply Constraints" In Singapore Sees Record Premiums
All Time Record Gold Transactions Reported By LBMA
How Cheap Credit Fuels Income/Wealth Inequality
Rising Oil Prices: The Euro Zone's Next Big Problem?
Cozy Corporate Directors Raise Their Pay to $1,000 an Hour
The New Aristocracy takes a bigger piece of the pie. And you get what Patty shot at. -- RF
Running out of cash, Australian miners get creative to survive
Brazil Real Touches Weakest in Four Years, Spurring Intervention

## Airline Death Spiral ##
India's airlines lost USD1.65 billion in FY2013
Virgin America sustains its perpetual paradox – high passenger praise and zero profitability
Deutsche Bank Says Buy Airlines Now
Hot dog! -- RF
American Airlines posts $105 million net loss in April
Austrian Airlines: a perennial loss-maker undergoing radical restructuring
Gary-Chicago Airport will again be without any airline passenger service
Malaysia Airlines net loss widens on higher fleet financing costs
TSA: No More Graphic, Full-Body Airport Scans

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
South China Sea tension mounts near Filipino shipwreck
U.S. accuses currency exchange of laundering $6 billion
Why The Next War With China Could Go Very Badly For The United States
"Most Americans assume that the U.S. military is so vastly superior to  everyone else that no other nation would ever dream of fighting a full-scale war against us.  Unfortunately, that assumption is dead wrong."
Biden Circles Xi as U.S. Duels China for Latin America Ties
China's moves in Western Hemisphere have U.S. stepping up its game
Insight: Nigerian pirate gangs extend reach off West Africa
Hezbollah said to control most of Qusayr in major setback for Syria rebels
"Hezbollah and Syrian government forces have seized most of the strategically important town of Qusayr near the Lebanese border, fighters on both sides of the conflict said Wednesday, in what would be a huge setback for the rebels fighting to topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad."
Balance of power in Syria war shifting in Assad's favor as troops move steadily against rebels
Assad says Syria received Russian missile shipment: Lebanese media
Moscow threatens to speed missiles to Syria but also offers to delay
Russia to sell 10 MiG fighter jets to Syria
Syria's Assad warns Israel on air strikes
Turkey finds sarin gas in homes of suspected Syrian Islamists – reports
Syria Has a Driver's Seat, and the US Isn't In It
Sources: Jordan drill in preparation for Syria conflict
"Western sources claim international forces will stay in Jordan after joint military exercise 'to prepare for possible intervention in Syria'"
Intel officials: Pakistan Taliban No. 2 is buried
Netherlands, Germany move to enhance military cooperation
Fears grow in Iraq as new bombing wave kills 33, governor escapes assassination attempt
Iraq Ready to Explode; Over 600 Killed This Month
As The Clock Ticks, U.S. Forces Scale Back Afghan Goals
Red Cross suspends operations in Afghanistan
US Army Creates NATO Rapid-Deployment Forces
Israel and U.S. generals draw up theoretical scenario for attack on Iran
U.S. imposes sanctions on Iran's petrochemical industry

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Frankfurt 'Blockupy' protesters surround ECB
"Thousands of demonstrators from the anti-capitalist Blockupy movement cut off access to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt on Friday to protest against policymakers' handling of Europe's debt crisis."
Fears grow for a Malaysian Spring
Buddhist mobs attack Muslim homes in Myanmar, one dead
In Central Burma, a Lawless Rush for Oil
"Oil fields abandoned by Burma's state-owned oil company in Magway Division have turned into a lawless arena for local drillers and smugglers looking for a profit—with knife fights settling scores between rival drillers, company officials and local residents say."
Far-right groups plan day of demonstrations across England
Kyrgyz police move in on gold mine protesters
Protesters blocking bulldozers tear gassed in Istanbul
Student debt protesters press Sallie Mae for relief

## Energy/resources ##
Oil sands mines face growing challenges as supply costs rise
"As the cost of wringing oil from Alberta's bitumen deposits continues to edge up, companies are assessing whether to spend billions on new mining projects or pour money into steam-driven extraction."
Holy cow! Watch that net-energy indicator plunge! -- RF
Oil executives tune out the call of the wild Arctic
"The high Arctic, once the irresistible frontier for oil and gas exploration, is quickly losing its appeal as energy firms grow fearful of the financial and public relations risk of working in the pristine icy wilderness."
World car production grows 3 times faster than global oil supplies
Oil Limits and Climate Change
Iran aims for more oil exports to India
Saudi Arabia, Iran contest OPEC leadership
Energy News Roundup: Rough Day for Renewables
Toxic gas in Bakken pipeline points to sour well problem
Defective panel epidemic threatens solar's resurgence
"Solar energy seems to be enjoying a new day in the sun, after the high-profile bankruptcies of Solyndra and Evergreen Solar. But that could be threatened by a reported rash of defective panels, caused by high pressure to cut costs."
Peak water?
Asia–Pacific Analysis: Rain harvesting can avert crisis
Wyoming oil production up in 2012; still down historically
India lowers gas-fired generation target amid gas shortage
Cuban oil hopes sputter as Russians give up for now on well
Shell under the skin, 10 years after crisis
Russia Retires Old Soviet Rigs Creating $9 Billion Demand for New Ones
"According to the Russian investment bank VTB Capital, more than 57% of the nation's 1,835 oil and gas rigs are over 20 years old. Built in the days of the Soviet Union, they are not powerful enough, or advanced enough to cope with modern extraction methods, such as extracting shale gas."
So in order to pump the hard-to-get oil and gas, a huge investment will be needed in new equipment. Higher drilling cost plus the expense of new hardware means that the oil and gas won't be cheap, which in turn spells net energy decline. -- RF
Next Shoe To Drop: Shoddy Solar Panels From China
Exxon's $100m Algae Investment Falls Flat
Remember the Jetsons? That Can be Us in 2025
This is a great "World's Fair" piece. A few elites might well be living in style, but the rest of us will be living on a much lower energy level. There is not enough energy now to bring about this kind of world, and each day sees a continuing net energy decline. A huge problem is that hardly anyone among our politicians, environmentalists, and even academics understands the concept of net energy. -- RF
South Koreans Told to Save Energy This Summer
Ecuador Oil Spill: SOTE Pipeline Ruptures After Landslide
Tanker Seizures Seen Boosting Rates as Oil Companies Vet Owners

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
97 faucets stolen from four sites in Saitama (Japan)

## Got food? ##
Hungary destroys crops from Monsanto's GM seeds
Rain further delays historically slow U.S. corn, soybean planting
Corn, soybean and wheat futures rise as traders worry about forecasts for more wet weather
USDA says unapproved genetically engineered wheat discovered in Oregon field
Where's the beef? Maybe not on your grill this summer
Farmers turn to drip-tape irrigation to save water
Report: Slaves may be catching the fish you eat
Discovery of genetically modified wheat in U.S. leads to South Korean import suspension
U.S. seeks source of errant gene altered wheat as importers flee
European Union urges testing of U.S. wheat imports for unapproved Monsanto strain
Escaped Wheat Shows Difficulty of Keeping Tests on Farm
Taiwan Reviews U.S. Wheat Imports on GMO Concerns
Britain's hunger problem grows

## Environment/health ##
Iraq: War's legacy of cancer
"Two US-led wars in Iraq have left behind hundreds of tonnes of depleted uranium munitions and other toxic wastes."
Do not look at the photos if you are squeamish. -- RF
Middle East Coronavirus Called 'Threat To The Entire World'
Intensive-Care Patients Need Treatment to Stop Deadly Bug
GM salmon can breed with wild fish and pass on genes
Spain to face coldest summer for 200 years?
Oil Sands Disrupt Ancient Way of Life
Mid-Ocean Plastics Cleanup Schemes: Too Little Too Late?
Gina Rinehart Calls For Sterilization of The Poor (NZ)
Niger Delta pollution: Fishermen at risk amidst the oil
Are we ignoring the dangers of mobile phones?
Wildfire burns 1,000 acres in Los Angeles County
"Absolutely Every One" – 15 Out of 15 – Bluefin Tuna Tested In California Waters Contaminated with Fukushima Radiation

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Stratfor hacker faces jail after admitting cyber-attack
Revealed: Google's plan to float BLIMP NETWORK over Africa, Asia
Report: Taiwan To Open New Cyberwar Unit
Unprecedented e-mail privacy bill sent to Texas governor's desk
"Assuming that Texas Governor Rick Perry does not veto it, the Lone Star State appears set to enact the nation's strongest e-mail privacy bill. The proposed legislation requires state law enforcement agencies to get a warrant for all e-mails regardless of the age of the e-mail."
Dept. of Homeland Security Forced to Release List of Keywords Used to Monitor Social Networking Sites
Special Ops Commanders Seek Intel, Data-Sharing Assets
"Senior commanders recently called on the defense industry to provide technologies that give special operations forces more situational awareness, better networking and communications and more precise location and targeting capabilities."
White House: Justice decided terms of the off-the-record meeting with media
This Pentagon Project Makes Cyberwar as Easy as Angry Birds
Chechen dad: FBI killed son to 'shut him up'
Schools scanned students' irises without permission

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Diesel shortage interrupts mobile towers in Naxal areas: MHA (India)
"If attacks on mobile networks by Naxals are not enough, security forces are grappling with the non-availability of diesel to power mobile towers which has left the telecom network non-functional for long periods."
AUC New Cairo campus closed on power shortages
"The American University of Cairo closed their New Cairo campus on Thursday, and it will remain closed throughout the weekend, according to the university. The decision came in light of power and water shortages the campus has been suffering since Wednesday."
Gary-Chicago Airport Will Again Lose Passenger Service
This is how collapse proceeds at first, a little at a time. An airport loses service, cellphone towers go dead, a bridge collapses… Watch for the day when the rate accelerates. -- RF
Skagit River bridge collapse: Not the only one waiting to happen
Unemployment across euro countries rises to record 12.2 percent in April
Conditions at private Miss. prison 'barbaric,' suit says
25 Signs That Military Veterans Are Being Treated Like Absolute Trash Under The Obama Administration

## Japan ##
Nikkei Stock Average tumbles more than 700 points to finish at 4-week low
Panasonic to cut 5,000 workers from automotive and industrial division
Japanese government reveals growth strategy plan
On the Road to a Japanese Debt Crisis
Is Japan the canary in the coal mine?
Japan suspends wheat imports from Pacific Northwest after modified wheat discovered in Oregon
End of an Era: A Bubble Hotel Closes
Japanese companies using 'banishment rooms' to push employees to resign
Yen fall spurs Japan fishermen to rally for state help to offset high fuel prices
-- Nuclear power bust --
Final Decision Made to Halt Monju Reactor Restart Work
Utilities Face Y4.4tln Hit From Scrapping Reactors: Estimate
Gov't suggests TEPCO freeze soil around Fukushima plant
Radioactive particles from J-PARC accident spread 1 km westward
Japan consumer prices fall 0.4% in April
Down six straight months. This bodes ill for the government's inflation plan. -- RF

## China ##
China looks local for solution to gas price dilemma
China Failure to Grow With $1 Trillion Credit Seen as Li Warning
China's Shuanghui International to buy Smithfield Foods for $4.7B
"China's Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. has said it will buy Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc., the world's largest pork producer, for $4.7 billion in cash."
China's Worker Shortage Is a Global Problem
New ID cards will require fingerprinting of residents
Huge debts could see China Railway Corp hit the buffers
China's plastic bag ban saves 6m tons of oil

## UK ##
Record 370,000 want to join apprenticeships
"With almost 1 million youngsters looking for work, every vacancy attracts 11 applications"
More garages caught selling illegal fuel
"The number of illegal pop up garages caught selling doctored and stolen fuel has risen by 48 per cent, according to figures released by HM Revenue and Customs."
Network Rail chiefs pocket bonuses as punctuality falls and maintenance worsens
Spring will be coldest in 50 years, Met Office says
UK gas import dependence at record high in first quarter
Huge rise in numbers treated for alcoholism
Food bank problem is 'very serious', admits Business Secretary, Vince Cable
Seaweed forces East Lothian's Torness nuclear plant closure

## US ##
The Economic Depression Is Not Over for Millions of Americans
Working moms are now main breadwinners in a record 40 percent of US households with children
Top US tax breaks to cost $12 trillion over decade, benefit wealthy: CBO
Officials: Boston bombing suspect friend unarmed when killed
Another Jolt For Journalism: Chicago Sun-Times Lays Off Its Photo Staff
Ben Bernanke's Latest Casualty: The Pension Plan
Federal disability trust fund on the brink
Flippers once again ride the housing wave
With College 'Borrowable' But Not Affordable: Loan Rates Set To Double
Students buried under crushing debt for worthless degrees: Net energy decline. -- RF
First quarter GDP revised slightly lower; austerity bites
Personal Income and Spending a Big Disappointment
As hurricane season begins, coastal homeowners feel the pinch with climbing insurance rates
Brawl over spilled punch at kindergarten graduation ceremony in Cleveland results in 8 arrests
Kinder Morgan shelves Texas-to-California oil pipeline plan
"Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP shelved a $2 billion plan to convert a natural gas pipeline to carry cheap West Texas crude to Southern California, citing lack of shipper interest."


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

 

News Links, May 27-29, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
EU threatens France over economic failings
"The European Commission will use sweeping new powers backed by sanctions to impose controversial social and economic reforms on European countries later this week."
S&P says France must deliver promised budget cuts to protect rating
Black Market or Bust: The Stark Choice Facing Many of Spain's Self-Employed
Dutch Defined Benefit Pension Plans, Second Largest in Europe, Face Forced Cuts
Worse-Than-Cyprus Debt Load Means Caribbean Defaults to Moody's
EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Gold's Volatility, Part Of Its Tradition: Former Presidential Candidate Ron Paul
Indian Central Bank Kills "Trillion Rupee Gold Coin" Idea, Enforces More Gold Controls
Demand for Physical Metal Extraordinary-James Turk
Suddenly bankrupt: People with great credit scores are hurtling into crisis (Canada)
The Bernanke Agenda - It Isn't What You Think It Is
Fischer 'Joins Global Currency War' With Second Rate Cut in May
"The Bank of Israel reduced borrowing costs for a second time this month, narrowing gaps with rates in major economies as it focused on keeping the shekel weak enough to support growth."
Sell Alert: Get Rid Of Low Quality Muni Bonds
Rajoy Sees Reprieve as Spanish Recession Evidence Mounts
"Spain will probably secure two more years to tame the largest budget deficit in the European Union (EUBDEURO) as first-quarter data show the effects of the toughest austerity measures in its democratic history."
Europe is afraid - the battle for new jobs
Brazil investments have a long, potholed road ahead
Europe's Banks Turn to U.S. Subprime for Salvation
"The U.S. mortgage bonds that were exported around the globe and triggered the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression are now helping Europe's banks and governments repair balance sheets after jumping in value."

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Valets Skirt Lines for Fliers on Richest U.S. Air Route
"Airlines are stepping up competition for full-fare passengers between New York and Los Angeles, with lie-flat seats, pricey French wines and personal valets to whisk travelers from curb to gate without wasting time in lines."
$32m loss for El Al in first quarter
Airlines fighting for upscale travelers
Jet Airways (India) drops as Q4 net loss widens
Changi Airport warns of 'downside risks' as passenger growth eases
"Changi Airport Group has warned of 'downside risks' in the regional aviation market as traffic growth continues to slow. The airport company noted the impact of high fuel prices and weak prospects for the global economy as key factors affecting aviation growth."
Two Alaskan volcanoes could threaten air traffic between Asia and North America
Would You Fly On An Airliner With Just One Pilot?
Air Cargo Industry's Woes May Point to Weakness in Asia's Growth

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Jordan to Host Military Exercises: US, UK, Canada Among Participants
"More than 15,000 troops from 18 countries will take part in a joint military exercise in Jordan in the coming weeks, a military official said Saturday."
The article lists 17 countries. The 18th is…? -- RF
14 killed in new anti-terror Philippine offensive
Israel Fear for Natural Gas Fields as Syria Set to Receive Russian Missiles
Syria fighting rages, more chemical attacks reported
Russia to send Syria air defense system to deter 'hotheads'
Israeli defense chief indicates if Russia ships advanced missiles to Syria, they could be hit
"Israel's defense chief said Tuesday a Russian plan to supply sophisticated anti-aircraft missiles to Syria was a 'threat' and signaled that Israel is prepared to use force to stop the delivery."
Obama Asks Pentagon for Syria No-Fly Zone Plan
Europe sets stage for possible arming of anti-Assad fighters as McCain visits Syrian rebel leader
More than 70 killed in wave of Baghdad bombings
Bahrain bans political groups from contacting Hezbollah
European banks accused of fuelling land grabs in Uganda
Philippines tells China to withdraw ships
Mark Lippert: U.S. deploys high-end weapons in Pacific to meet China's challenge, other contingencies
India's PM says Japan a natural partner on sea issues

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
We Are Now One Year Away From Global Riots, Complex Systems Theorists Say
UK protesters shout, 'Muslim killers, off our streets' in march over murdered soldier
Protesters run amok in Mirpur
Thousands of Romanians protest Chevron fracking
Cambodian Garment Workers Hurt At Pay Protest
Taiwan rallies against 'unfair' nuclear power plant referendum
Iraq violence: New bombings and gun clashes kill 13
Burma Muslim-Buddhist clashes erupt in Shan state
Schaeuble Warns Of "Revolution" If Welfare Model Threatened

## Energy/resources ##
Kenya hit by national blackout after power grid failure
Kenya starts to light up again after national blackout
Current Power Outage Outbreak Only a Foretaste of a Forthcoming Surge (US)
"According to Eaton Corporation's recent U.S. blackout tracker, the nation is currently experiencing a growing 'blackout' and 'brownout' surge, which could eventually result in serious economic and social consequences."
Must Read: Drilling Faster Just To Stay Still: A Proposal To Use 'Production Per Unit Effort' (PPUE) As An Indicator Of Peak Oil
This is an excellent approach to use in determining how much "bang for the buck" we are getting. My only criticism is that instead of being used an indicator of peak oil, it should be an indicator of declining net energy, the reason being that, as I've observed previously, the world oil industry might produce more barrels of oil, but we would still have less energy for two reasons: (1) the overall quality of oil is worsening, and (2) we need to expend more energy (or as the author puts it here, make more effort) to obtain oil, and that energy investment must be deducted from the gross energy obtained. Do not be distracted by news about how OPEC is discombobulated by US tight oil production, blah blah blah. From a net-energy perspective, it's junk oil. If you are still wondering why there will be no economic "recovery," here is the answer in a nutshell. -- RF
Even in an Oil Boom, Production Growth Is Slow
"'You've definitely experienced a slowdown in production growth. It hasn't peaked but it's close to plateauing,' said John Hummel, president and chief investment officer at AIS Capital Management. Saying that the U.S. is 'living off our inheritance,' he cites figures showing that exported oil is on the decline, due in large part to depletion rates."
Power outages become routine in Egypt, triggering protests and campaigns
UK's Lights may go out by 2015, Warns Global Energy Expert
"UK households and businesses face electricity blackouts in just a few years say two of the country's leading energy experts. Peter McCusker reports. 'The situation is really quite serious. We will have to keep our coal-fired power stations open and get fined by the EU,' says Prof Ian Fells, one of the UK's leading energy experts."
South Korea shuts more nuclear reactors over fake certificates
"South Korea said on Tuesday it was suspending the operations of two nuclear power reactors and extended a shutdown of a third to replace cables that were supplied using fake certificates, threatening power shortages in Asia's fourth-biggest economy."
The Coming Technological Revolution No One's Paying Attention To
Here's another "technology will solve all our problems" pitch. I won't deny that technology can solve problems, and very neatly sometimes. For example, I needed to regulate the flows of water into rice paddies that all feed off the same irrigation channel. I solved the problem neatly by using rocks of appropriate sizes and shapes. That's low tech. It's also low-energy, and understandable to anyone; I don't need an engineer or skilled technician. But this article has some problems. First is the canard that we're going to "run out" of resources and energy. However, we do have decreasing high-quality resources and energy. While it's technologically possible to extract minerals from waste, we need to keep a few things in mind. First, low-grade resources require a greater expenditure of energy. Second, energy itself is getting lower in quality and higher in price. Third, the wastes are generated by other industrial activities which are also dependent on the same high-energy system. It's like a waste-to-energy plant which depends for its fuel on the wasteful high-energy industrial lifestyle. Fourth, declining net energy is creating a global shortage of the engineers and skilled workers who are needed to design and run these resource-extraction systems. Declining net energy: It's why bridges are falling down, tunnels are falling in, we are short of doctors and engineers, and the global financial system is collapsing. Don't be misled by this Julian Simon-style cornucopianism. -- RF
Technical challenges, costs limit shale gas' global impact
"Despite the resources sector's optimism, shale gas was expected to remain a largely regional resource over the next three years, with an uncertain global impact as a result of the increased technical challenges and higher development costs of the resource, advisory firm Deloitte predicted this week in its global 'Oil and Gas Reality Check 2013' report."
UAE oil minister: Current oil prices no threat to economic growth
Mideast oil producers need high prices not only because of the reason stated here — to finance more investments in production — but also to maintain social programs and stave off unrest. If unrest explodes in KSA and other Mideast oil-producing countries, it could be catastrophic for the global energy regime. Iraq was going to rival KSA in a few years, but its junk oil infrastructure and growing instability are holding it back. -- RF
Major companies vie for Iraq's oil, but internal challenges remain
Output cut needed to stabilise Brent above $100
"Top oil exporter Saudi Arabia may have to persuade other members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) to cut output to keep oil prices above $100 a barrel for the rest of the year, according to the kingdom's largest unlisted lender, National Commercial Bank."
Israeli electric car company Better Place shutting down, ending project to cut oil dependency
Cutting Back on Supply in the Presence of Optimism
Sharif's Pakistan Election Prize: Solving the Energy Crisis
South Africa's nuclear power build programme – will it happen?
Balochistan power crisis: 21 districts plunge into darkness
46,000 Chemical Jobs 'Reliant on Shale Gas Laws'
Death in Parched Farm Field Reveals Growing India Water Tragedy
This is some real deep doo-doo. India is going to blow up. -- RF
New Frontiers: Suddenly, the oil and gas potential of the Arctic looms large
Iran offers insurance to India refiners to spur oil sales
Iran Offers Oil Fields at Lucrative Terms to India
State reaches deal with Dorad to head off power shortage (Israel)
Russian gas pipeline could doom Europe's Nabucco plan
Most Nigerians want fuel subsidy to continue
Ethiopia diverts Nile for huge $4.7 bln hydro dam
$100 billion in LNG investment at risk in Australia
"Escalating costs of doing business in the country could cost the Australian economy more than $100 billion of new investment in LNG projects."
Senator wants U.S. in oil price-fixing probe
Skip this story. This issue is nothing but a cheap distraction. -- RF
Alarm raised over power security (Vietnam)
Nuclear plant suspension portends a blackout this summer (South Korea)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Thieves Steal Chairs, Furniture From Business, Home Patios
Worcester-Birmingham rail services disrupted by cable thieves
Brazen Wolverhampton thieves pose as motorway workers for M6 metal theft
$16K in Material Thefts from 130 Construction Project

## Got food? ##
Decline in biodiversity of farmed plants, animals gathering pace
"A decline in the diversity of farmed plants and livestock breeds is gathering pace, threatening future food supplies for the world's growing population, the head of a new United Nations panel on biodiversity said on Monday."
Kenya Aims for Food Self-Sufficiency
Food inflation in country hits 6.2% (Saudi Arabia)
Agricultural robots: Australia eyes high-tech farm help to grow food
Venezuela sends ships to bring food from Nicaragua
As Colorado River drought worsens, water officials parley
Malnutrition hits school performance, warns Save the Children
"A quarter of the world's children are at risk of underperforming at school because of chronic malnutrition, says UK charity Save the Children."
Beef eaters can brace for sticker shock this summer

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
For a Future that Won't Destroy Life on Earth, Look to the Global Indigenous Uprising
"Idle No More is the latest incarnation of an age-old movement for life that doesn't depend on infinite extraction and growth. Now, armed with Twitter and Facebook, once-isolated groups from Canada to South America are exchanging resources and support like never before."

## Environment/health ##
Let Them Eat Grass: Paris Employs Sheep As Eco-Mowers
Researchers say Western IQs dropped 14 points over last century
Judging by the staggering stupidity of our leaders, I'd say it's more than 14 points. -- RF
Cloud Seeding, Will It Save Us From Water Poverty?
Four Edmonton transit buses fumigated for bed bugs this year
EU regulator suspects BASF insecticide of harming bees
Coronavirus death reported in France
H7N9 bird flu drug resistance concern
Tesla's Carbon Footprint Is No Better Than A Honda Civic's

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Singapore to regulate Yahoo!, other online news sites
"Websites that regularly report on Singapore including Yahoo! News will have to get a license from June 1, putting them on par with newspapers and television new outlets, in a move seen by some as a bid to rein in free-wheeling Internet news."
Nigeria: Mobile phones 'cut off' under emergency rule
US spy device 'tested on NZ public'
German railways deploys surveillance drones
Meet Zhang. He hacks for Beijing.
Chinese hackers 'steal' blueprints to new Australian spy HQ
Australian prime minister says reports of Chinese hacking are 'inaccurate'
Chinese hackers 'access sensitive US weapons systems'
"Designs for some of the United States' most important and sensitive weapons systems have been 'compromised' by Chinese hackers according to extracts from a confidential report obtained by the Washington Post."
Pentagon to Act Promptly on Weapons System Hacker Attacks
The Growing Threat of Online Surveillance and How to Protect Yourself
FACT CHECK: Kerry dishes some iffy claims abroad

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
40 Statistics About The Fall Of The U.S. Economy That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe
Cities: Potential and Reality at the End of Growth
"The U.S. as the next Saudi Arabia is a falsehood perpetuated by special interests and aided by cornucopian delusion. The simple fact is that extraction of conventional, cheap oil with its high net-energy return peaked globally several years ago. Ongoing ample supplies of petroleum are being maintained only through smoke and mirrors, such as massive subsidies masking the true higher cost of oil and its substitutes. The hoped-for 'recovery' for 'growth' is a pipe dream, because cheap energy and ample materials are seriously on the wane."
And here you have it again: Net energy is decreasing. Get used to it. -- RF
America's Vets: Returning Home To A Broken System
National parks show signs of wear and tear (US; video)
Doctor shortage hits hard in rural America (US; video)
In the new America, parks will turn into dumps and tent cities, and only the rich will see doctors. -- RF

## Japan ##
The Japanese Financial System Is Beginning To Spin Wildly Out Of Control
Tokyo Urged to Undertake Serious Fiscal Reforms
Japanese Stocks Extend Overnight Plunge - Down Over 14% From Highs
Japan World's Largest Creditor Nation for 22nd Straight Year
Kobe Steel mulls halting blast furnace

## China ##
China Credit-Bubble Call Pits Fitch's Chu Against S&P
Pipeline explosion halts China supplies
Beijing's Latest Worry: College Grads
The miserable plight of China's millennials
"As nearly 7 million students are set to graduate from Chinese universities this summer, some are saying they will enter the worst job market in China's history."
Li Says China Confronts 'Huge Challenges' as Growth Levels Slow

## UK ##
Terror in Woolwich: Theresa May moves to ban extremists who don't advocate violence
Three more councils come out against HS2
U.K. Police Make 10th Arrest in Probe of Murdered Soldier
Food banks struggle to feed hungry as demand rises
Renewable energy: Why burn US trees in UK power stations? (BBC video)
This is renewable? The whole operation would fall apart without its fossil fuel input. -- RF
One in three pensioners rent dilapidated, cold and damp homes
One in five shops to close by 2018, warns report
"One in five shops – more than 60,000 stores across the country – will close over the next five years, a report claims today."
Courts may be privatised to save Ministry of Justice £1bn
U.K. Banks Cut 189,000 With Employment at Nine-Year Low

## US ##
Obamacare Will Bring Drug Industry $35 Billion In Profits
NYSE Margin Debt Rises To New All Time High As Net Worth Slides To Record Low
6 Dead, 11 Wounded in Holiday Weekend Violence
Boomers aging, but still hard at work
Border Patrol agents running out of gas
IEA says U.S. gas prices of $5 could spur return to coal
U.S. Postal Service finances remain wobbly
Chart Of The Day: Crushed US Consumer + All Time High New Home Prices = Record Housing Bubble
States With the Worst Bridges
Should cities sell heirlooms to pay bills?
Cities Where Suburban Poverty Is Skyrocketing
Chicago Fed Manufacturing Heads into Recession Territory
Facing high fuel costs, North Dakota plans new refineries

And finally…
Man who set up camera to catch a ghost instead catches girlfriend's affair with his 16-year-old son
12 Technologies To 'Make The Future Happen'
Oh, boy! -- RF


Saturday, May 25, 2013

 

News Links, May 24-26, 2013

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
U.S., China factories struggle; Fed hints at less stimulus
Outlook for China's Economy Just Keeps Getting Worse
Will Chinese "Recession" Join Europe's Contraction?
Another Warning Call for Depositors! Bank of Spain Says Spanish Banks Need €10bn More Loan Loss Provisions
Japan Stock Market Crash Leads To Global Sell Off
Veteran fears 'beginning of the end' for Japan as bond market buckles
European Stocks Dive Most In 10 Months
Eurozone business still going backwards
France Private Sector Implosion Continues
Discussion in Spain on Leaving the Euro; Euro Exit Manifest
Slovenia adopts debt cap to stave off crisis
Greek children increasingly living in poverty, says UN report
Thai economy shrinks 2.2% in first quarter, first contraction in more than a year
OMERS considering proposal to reduce pension payouts
"Faced with a $10-billion pension-funding deficit, one of Canada's largest pension funds is considering a drastic proposal that would reduce benefits paid to retiring workers — or force them to work years longer for the same retirement income."
Retirement: Fuggettaboutit. -- RF
This year's grads 'extremely disadvantaged' when seeking entry-level work (Canada)
Tata Steel reports loss on Europe weakness
Ford to halt car production in Australia
"Car manufacturer Ford announced Thursday it will cease making vehicles in Australia in 2016 and axe 1,200 jobs, having produced its first car in the country in 1925."
Bicycle sales outpace car sales in Italy
Brazil 'to write off' almost $900m of African debt
Bank of Cyprus may Still Collapse

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Chicago jet fuel prices soar to highest in the world
India Moving to Reduce Airport Fees
3 Headwinds Pushing Against Soaring Airlines
Lufthansa Cargo Reviews Expansion Plans
SpiceJet logs huge Rs 186 cr loss in Q4
Jet Airways reports Rs 495 crore net loss in March quarter

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
U.S. may arm rebels if diplomacy fails, Kerry says
Deadly fighting between Assad backers, opponents in Lebanon feeds fears that war is spreading
Syrian Army Advances Signal Assad May Survive for Years
Israel, in reassessment, thinks Syria's Bashar Assad will last awhile
Israel eyes Syrian missile threat to gas fields
"The reported delivery of supersonic Russian anti-ship missiles to Syria heightened Israeli concerns about protecting its offshore gas fields."
Niger bombs target Areva mine and military camp
Asia tension could lead to conflict: Philippine foreign minister
With eye on China, Japan to provide patrol boats to Philippines
Manila confirms boost to military spending
"The Philippines is determined to spend $1.8 billion on military upgrades -- mostly naval -- to protect the country against 'bullies' in its territorial waters."
Algerian jihadi mastermind claims Niger suicide attacks
French soldier in uniform stabbed near Paris
Suicide car bombing in Russia's Dagestan injures 11
Hundreds of illegals held in clampdown in Sharjah
"Hundreds of illegal residents have been arrested in Sharjah as police continue their clampdown on people who did not leave the UAE during the recent visa amnesty."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protesters around the world march against Monsanto
Blistering heat wave leads to violent protests in India
Power breakdowns and water shortage instigating protests (Pakistan)
Sweden rioting spreads outside Stockholm in sixth night of violence
Sweden reinforcing police in riot-hit Stockholm
Stockholm calmer but violence spreads outside Swedish capital
Sweden shaken as riots continue in immigrant suburbs
Protesters take to streets after London soldier slaying
Anti-fracking protest camp set up near Tarleton, Lancashire
Bangladeshi Police In Deadly Clash With Islamist Protesters
Bahraini protesters clash with police
Hundreds of Israelis demonstrate in protest of plan to export natural gas
'Don't pay electricity bills!' Egypt campaign protests blackouts

## Energy/resources ##
Must read: Difficult Truths about 'Difficult Oil'
Here is the crux of disaster that industrial civilization faces: Net energy decline. The world's oil mix has a decreasing proportion of easy (high-net-energy) oil, and an increasing proportion of difficult (low-net-energy) junk oil. Net energy decline is bleeding into all sectors and pushing the world economy into an accelerating collapse. -- RF
Massive power outages continue (Pakistan)
Egypt raises fuel amounts to 'avoid summer blackouts'
East region faces shortage of petroleum products (Nepal)
Drivers face steeper gas prices with second hike in a week (Canada)
S.Korea to take 1st Iran LPG cargoes in 7 months -sources
"South Korea will receive a shipment of Iranian liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for the first time since imports were halted last October due to European sanctions that made it difficult to get shipping insurance, sources said on Thursday."
India likely to get another US waiver for oil imports from Iran
Prices are Set to Rise, but Survival is Not Guaranteed for Natural Gas Companies
More sobering assessments are forthcoming these days. Repeat: The "new technology" is not new, and energy companies have known about the oil and gas deposits in shale formations all along.
Tanker Owners Lose $27 Billion Since 2009, Struggle to Survive as Day Rates Drop
Report: Saudi bailout of Pakistan energy sector likely
And recall that China is also offering to help Pakistan. -- RF
Third Party Tests Prove Rossi's E-Cat HT2 Works
The E-Cat is back, and people are still falling for it!
The Case for ANWR Oil Part I: How Much Oil is There?
Romania gears up for more shale gas exploration -minister
JA Solar posts another quarterly loss
No sign of end to solar PV glut
"Overcapacity in the global solar industry is unlikely to disappear soon, suggest data and strategies outlined in the recent financial reports of top manufacturers."
Is the Solar Energy Bubble Finally Bursting?
Coal's Record Slump Poised to End on Output Cuts: Energy Markets
"European coal's longest slump in at least eight years is poised to end as imports from the U.S. fall and further declines trigger production cuts at mines in Russia and Poland."
Massive Power Outage Triggered by Falling Tree
"A massive power outage that left large areas of Phnom Penh without elec­­tricity and water and plunged Southern Vietnam into darkness on Wednesday was caused by a crane operator knocking a tree onto a high-voltage power line, Vietnam's state-owned energy provider said Thursday."
Deforestation dries up dams threatening hydropower
Power-Generating Glass Windows Almost Ready For Market
We have lots of ideas these days for producing power, such as capturing low-grade waste heat, paving roads with photovoltaic surfacing, and this. What it boils down to is that people are starting to see the need to do something to prop up their industrial lifestyles, and do it soon. -- RF
Rosneft, PDVSA to work together in Venezuela
South African Shale Gas Hits Rough Patch
Cheap shale gas bubble 'will burst within 2-4 years': Expert
Crude Landlocked as Canadians Join U.S. to Halt Pipelines
U.S. keen to see Trans-Caspian gas pipeline to be implemented
A majority on Earth face severe self-inflicted water woes within 2 generations: Scientists
Nuclear reactors in Sweden can run another 60 years

## Got food? ##
The slow burn of food prices is squeezing the world dry
Soaring food prices make money top concern over love and status – report
Almost a quarter of Americans struggle to afford food
15 Foods That Can Be Regrown From Scraps
Memorial Day Barbecue Costs Likely To Rise This Year Due To Boost In Beef Prices
NASA awards grant for 3D food printer
Unlimited fish and bread, coming right up! -- RF
Asian grain importers hit by slowing South American supply, prices rally

## Environment/health ##
America's frogs and toads disappearing fast, study warns
Concern Grows Over Fracking Public Lands
Arctic Ocean Rapidly Acidifying
Honeybees harbor antibiotic-resistance genes
"Bacteria in the guts of honeybees are highly resistant to the antibiotic tetracycline, probably as a result of decades of preventive antibiotic use in domesticated hives."
FracFocus Drillers' Registry to Create Chemicals Database
The Weather Is Getting More Expensive
World Health Organisation calls for greater cooperation in fight against deadly coronavirus
Mutant Cockroaches Learn to Avoid Sugar to Outsmart Traps
89 scientists join call for EU action on hormone-disrupting chemicals

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Obama administration targets reporters in crackdown on leaks
U.S. Power Grid Vulnerable to Enemy Attack, Lawmakers Say
Approaching the cyberwar precipice
Obama tackles drones, Guantanamo in reset of war on terror
Bottom line: It's costing too much. The war of terror will be continued to the maximum extent possible under increasingly rigorous budget constraints. -- RF
US Govt. Is Turning into a Surveillance State That's Almost Impossible to Stop
Japanese government mulls internet history tracking for anti-terrorism efforts
"The draft asserts that given the increase of internet-related and web-based crime – including incidents where perpetrators used remotely operated computer – the government should consider passing legislation that would require all citizens to preserve personal web and browsing histories."
Your Mobile Device Is a Hack Waiting to Happen: Pros
Infectious Computer Worms Are Sucking Energy And Money From Companies
U.S. casts doubt on credibility of Iran election
What irony! The black-box voting champion of the world doubts the credibility of other nations' elections. -- RF
Iran hacks energy firms, U.S. says
"Officials in Washington are claiming that Iranian hackers have stepped up attacks on the cyber networks of U.S. multinational corporations, focusing their attention on energy companies."
How the U.S. Government Hacks the World
Syria's Electronic Army attempted attack on Haifa's water system

## Systemic breakdown/collapse ##
Stricken Japan nuke plant struggles to keep workers in setback for decommissioning
"Keeping the meltdown-stricken Fukushima nuclear plant in northeastern Japan in stable condition requires a cast of thousands. Increasingly the plant's operator is struggling to find enough workers, a trend that many expect to worsen and hamper progress in the decades-long effort to safely decommission it."
Furlough Friday: Budget cuts mean an unpaid day off for many at IRS, HUD and other agencies
'Severe' ICT skills shortage highlighted by 4,500 vacancies
Shortage of key drug hampering U.S. efforts to control TB, report says
UK experiences Engineering Skills shortage
Canada grabs for America's foreign skilled workers
Cars in water after bridge collapse on I-5 north of Seattle
I-5 Bridge Collapse Shows Bridge Repair Needs Across U.S
Wal-Mart Plasters Stores With Green Dots to Stay Stocked
CPS approves largest school closure in Chicago's history
Chicago Killings Cost $2.5 Billion as Murders Top N.Y.'s
Recent food truck stops result of state law change, more scrutiny
"A 2012 change in state law that gave Indiana State Police troopers the authority to inspect refrigerated trucks has helped uncover loads of unsafe food traveling on Wayne County roadways in the past few weeks."
3rd truck in 6 weeks found to be hauling food at unsafe temperatures
And you can bet this isn't happening only in Indiana. -- RF
Again, Total System Collapse Disrupts Power Supply (Nigeria)

## Japan ##
Strict radiation reference levels shunned to stem Fukushima exodus
"The government avoided setting stringent radiation reference levels for the return of Fukushima evacuees for fear of triggering a population drain and being hit by ballooning costs for compensation, an Asahi Shimbun investigation shows."
Richard Koo Warns Of "Beginning Of The End" For Japanese Economy
Yet Another Debt Chart That Is Not Big Enough To Fit Japan
Japan's Nikkei stock index dives 7.3 percent
Bass On Japan's Turbo QE: "It Won't Be Enough"
Violence against train station staff still rife
Yahoo Japan suspects 22 million user IDs leaked: Kyodo
Japan gov't alleges 124 documents as having leaked in cyberattacks
Nuclear watchdog to officially prohibit restart of Monju
Long-term interest rates reach 1% despite Kuroda's confidence
This is some deep doo-doo. Even at the dirt-cheap interest rates prevailing until now, about half of the government's tax revenues have gone to interest payments on bonds. If yields rise to around 2%, it will totally wipe out government finances. Look for a default. -- RF
Seven & i to build fuel storage facility
"Retail giant Seven & i Holdings Co. has announced that it will build a facility to store vehicle fuel in preparation for goods distribution at the time of a major disaster."
Japan PM Shinzo Abe heads to Burma for economic talks
Get those resources and cheap labor before someone else does! -- RF

## China ##
China Manufacturing Slips Back Into Contraction
Rosy China growth forecasts fade on further signs of slowdown
China Sentiment Indicator Flops
Hong Kong shares set for worst day in 7 weeks, China bucks weakness
"Hong Kong shares are headed for their worst daily loss in seven weeks on Thursday, sinking deeper into the red after a preliminary private survey suggested manufacturing activity in China contracted in May for the first time since October."
The Commodities China's Buying Less Of This Year
China urbanization plan hits roadblock over spending fears - sources
Seeking Help — For China's Labor Market
"China's labor markets are flashing a warning sign, with new job adverts on a leading recruitment website sharply down in April, and job losses in manufacturing spreading to the services sector."

## UK ##
Theresa May keen to revive 'snooper's charter' in wake of Woolwich attack
'Phones for all pupils' to close the digital gap
UK Gas Supply Six Hours From Running Out in March
Anti-Muslim activity on the rise in UK after soldier killed in London
The student 'loans' that will never be repaid

## US ##
Health Costs For Family Of Four Higher Than Year Of Groceries
"The cost of medical care 'now exceeds the cost of groceries' for the typical American family with health insurance coverage through their employer, a new study shows."
IRS Takes The Fifth, But You Can't
Sears reports bigger-than-expected loss for 1st quarter
Delinquent Student Loans Hit Record, 30% Of 20-24 Year Olds Are Unemployed And Not In School
Federal Forecasters: Above Normal Hurricane Season to Come
USA lags behind others in paid vacation, holidays
No matter. I predict that paid vacations and holidays will last about as long as pensions and retirement. -- RF
Holder OK'd search warrant for Fox News reporter's private emails, official says
Justice Department wanted indefinite tracking of Fox reporter's email
Bridge collapse shines light on aging infrastructure
Millions of Americans will cross 'structurally deficient' bridges this weekend
Bridge Collapse Accents Structural Decay as Budgets Sag
Whatever cause, Washington state bridge collapse points to bigger problems
Thousands of bridges similar to I-5 span at risk of freak accident due to outdated designs
These 6 States Have the Most Dangerous Bridges
The Week's Second Bridge Collapse Happened Because of a Train Collision
Stocks trade flat; market ends week lower for the first time since April
Luxury brands position for U.S. boom
Military Should Run Drone Strikes, Colin Powell Says
The Housing UnRecovery Is Here: Architectural Billings Plunge Most Since 2008
Why do people feel poor even though the stock market is at a record high? The process of inflating asset bubbles and transferring wealth to targeted groups.
DIA's art collection at risk amid Detroit's financial woes
What Detroit crisis? Pension fund trustees hang out in Hawaii
TSA picked up record 65 guns in carry-on bags last week
The Post Office Returns to the Local Store

And finally…
Teens Starting to See Facebook as Old and Creepy


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