Thursday, January 16, 2014


News Links, January 16-17, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Puerto Rico Default "Likely", FT Reports
France: the new sick man of Europe
Faber Favours Physical Gold, Silver and Platinum To Bitcoin
Argentina Seen Selling Bonds Overseas From Pension Fund
The Bitcoin-Mining Arms Race Heats Up
Singapore home sales collapse as cooling measures bite
Is Singapore set for an Icelandic-style crash?
Cost of living a major worry for young Singaporeans
German Economy Wobbles Between Shrinkage And Stagnation, Stocks Soar
A serious emerging-markets selloff is underway
Elites Acknowledge: 'Disparities Between Rich and Poor' a Global Threat
Dubai Group signs $10 billion debt restructuring deal - sources
ECB Waters Down 2014 Stress Tests Second Time; Yet Another Sham Stress Test
Venezuela Looks to Army General to Damp Spiraling Prices
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro is turning to an army brigadier general to run the economy, two months after using troops to control prices and slow the world's fastest inflation.
Nigel Farage Booms "Europe Is Now Run By Big Banks, Big Business, And Big Bureaucrats"
HSBC faces £70bn capital hole, warn Hong Kong analysts
10 greatest threats facing the world in 2014

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Qantas pumps up fuel surcharges on international flights
airberlin cuts 30 routes, nine airports; dual-brands A320 with Etihad Airways
After merger with US Airways, American cutting nonstop flights from NY, DC to 19 cities
Inside the world's biggest airport construction projects in 2013/14
More and bigger airports? This is nuts. Gazillions of airports around the world are already losing money. -- RF
Cost of flying keeps climbing: Airfares rise 12 percent in 5 years, not counting extra fees
United Airlines to lay off 688 flight attendants

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Brazilian state moves to curb cargo theft
Annual rate of Israeli settler attacks on Palestinians has almost quadrupled, UN figures show
The annual rate of Israeli settler attacks against Palestinians has almost quadrupled in eight years, U.N. figures show, buttressing claims that Israeli security forces have largely failed to stem the so-called "price tag" campaign in which thugs cut down trees, deface mosques and beat Palestinian farmers.
Iran, Russia Ruffle US Feathers with Oil Swap Deal
American watchdog says Afghanistan risks becoming 'narco-state'
Dozens killed in Iraq bomb attacks
Nigerian piracy 'highest in 5 years'
The number of Nigerian piracy attacks increased last year to their highest level since 2008 with incidents off West Africa now accounting for almost one fifth of the worldwide total.
The truth about Israel's secret nuclear arsenal
Israel has been stealing nuclear secrets and covertly making bombs since the 1950s. And western governments, including Britain and the US, turn a blind eye. But how can we expect Iran to curb its nuclear ambitions if the Israelis won't come clean?
Africa: China and Japan's Next Battleground?

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Rolezinhos, Brazil's 'flashmob' trend
Protests throw spotlight on Israel's African migrant pressures

## Energy/resources ##
SolarCity bets on new kind of financing _ selling bond-like securities to retail investors
Drydocks World to Build Largest Ever North Sea Rig in $730 Million Deal
Shell Expected to Sell $15 Billion of Assets During the Next Two Years
Many of the large oil companies are facing pressure from shareholders to try and reduce spending as costs of projects continue to rise and the price of oil is expected to fall in the future.
Slovenia proceeds with new power plant unit though cost nears $2 billion
Genel Energy says Kurdish oil exports imminent
Polish shale gas may be too hard to exploit
Exxon to Chevron Face Two-Year Wait in Mexico Oil Opening
First we find that foreign oil companies will be dumping money into secondary and tertiary recovery, and now we find that even that entails a two-year wait. Such a deal! -- RF
In the global war for energy supremacy, Russia has won another victory over the United States.
Indian oil companies on oil hunt in Latin America
Kashagan set for wait on restart
A target date for resuming production at Kazakhstan's giant Kashagan oilfield will not be known for at least another month, the North Caspian Operating Company (NCOC) has admitted.
NPD: Record Number of Fields in Operation Offshore Norway
The Norwegian Petroleum Directorate reported Wednesday that a record number of fields are in operation on the Norwegian shelf.
Norway's rising oil costs hit Arctic output hopes
Norway Cuts Oil Output Target, Raises Resource Estimate
Norway cuts its 2014 oil production forecasts on Wednesday, and warned that investment growth will soon stop, but also sharply raised its undiscovered resource estimate on more Arctic riches.
Global Clean Energy Investment Fell for the Second Year Running
Are Fracking Fluids to Blame for Rail Car Explosions?
Syrian energy deal puts Russia in gas-rich Med
Fukushima No. 1 engineer's warning to Taiwan: Nuclear power unstable
A Japanese engineer who helped build reactor 4 at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant said such plants are inherently unstable, urging Taiwan to ditch atomic energy for renewable resources.
Vietnam may delay building 1st nuclear power plant -media

## Got food? ##
Monsanto critics denied U.S. Supreme Court hearing on seed patents
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Monsanto Co's biotech seed patents on Monday, dealing a blow to a group of organic farmers and other activists trying to stop the biotech company from suing farmers if their fields contain a few plants containing the company's genetically modified traits.
Monsanto readies first-ever GMO wheat
Hawaii Is the Latest Battleground Over Genetically Modified Crops
India feels the pinch of higher food prices
Where's the beef? Industry at crossroads

## Environment/health ##
Heatwave halts Australian Open tennis matches
Drought parches West; 11 states declared disaster areas
Why birds fly in a V-formation
Superbugs were found breeding, spreading in sewage plants
Climate fail: Geoengineering would cool planet, but screw up rainfall patterns
Study: Humans, primates long-lived because we burn fewer calories
Climate Protection May Cost 4% of World GDP by 2030: UN

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Out in the Open: An NSA-Proof Twitter, Built With Code From Bitcoin and BitTorrent
Report: NSA maps pathway into computers
The National Security Agency has implanted software in nearly 100,000 computers around the world — but not in the United States — that allows the U.S. to conduct surveillance on those machines, The New York Times reported Tuesday.
Google house: Tech giant spends billions to get inside your home
Snowden 'Called to Serve the Cause of Our Free Press'
NSA whistleblower to join Freedom of the Press Foundation board, which includes Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, Daniel Ellsberg
Global press group visits Britain over newspaper freedom fears
Report: NSA 'collected 200m texts per day'
Legal clash in the digital age: Can police search an arrestee's cellphone without a warrant?
Surprise! Target Data Breach Could Include Your Info From Purchases Made A Decade Ago
Congress Secretly Moves to Keep Drone Program Under CIA Control

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Extreme weather spotlights Canada's aging infrastructure
10 abandoned hotels
People Terrified & Depressed As US Collapses
Vast Stretches Of Impoverished Appalachia Look Like They Have Been Through A War
Charting Collapseniks
A diverse and fascinating survey. -- RF
Seven Sustainable Technologies

## Japan ##
Japan's Tepco to restart nuclear reactors?
Niigata governor calls TEPCO's turnaround plan 'pie in the sky'
Shimane, Onagawa nuke plant checks start
BOJ notes 'recovery' in all regional economies
Abenomics Weakening: IMF Chief

## China ##
China's water squeeze worsens as wetlands shrink 9 pct
Beijing Shuts Down As Pollution Over Past 12 Hours Literally "Off The Chart"
The Beijing Bubble
China's credit boom raises spectre of financial crisis
Early holidays point to grim outlook for China's small factories
Scores of factories in China's manufacturing heartlands have closed earlier than usual for the country's biggest annual holiday due to weak orders and rising costs, workers and owners say, suggesting a rocky outlook for a key sector of the economy.
China grants gold import licences to foreign banks for 1st time: Reports
China: Luxury clubs ordered to close shut amid anti-corruption drive
China steps up appeal to West in Japan propaganda battle
Golden Mao Statue, Pricey Booze Among Arrested General's Stash

## UK ##
One in five 'borrow money to pay rent or mortgage'
Shelter says increasing numbers of people are turning to loans, overdrafts, credit cards or someone they know to make ends meet
Britons 'may have reached the peak of happiness'

## US ##
'Unsophisticated tradecraft': FBI probe traders allegedly using hand signals to manipulate massive trades
The Accounting Wizardry Behind Banks' Strong Earnings
Power crisis costs haven't hit home
S&P 500 index ekes out another record high, its first of 2014
TSA Granting Expedited Security Checks To Entire Lines Of Travelers Undercuts Everything About Its Security Theater
J.C. Penney to Cut 2,000 Jobs While Closing 33 Stores
J.C. Penney Store Closures — Likely Just a Starting Point
Retirement Sunset Math: Number of Employed vs. Population Over Time
Big Banks Launder Hundreds of Billions of Illegal Drug Cartel Money … But Refuse to Provide Services for Legal Marijuana
Neofeudalism: These 10 People Collectively Own 33 Million Acres, Or 1.5% Of All US Land
Fired Yahoo Exec's $109M Golden Parachute Was One Of The Biggest Ever
The Next Tire To Drop On The US Economy
The Death Cross Of US Manufacturing
Squeezing out the working class through higher rents
More Americans Worse Off Financially Than a Year Ago

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