Tuesday, January 07, 2014

 

News Links, January 7-8, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
World-Beating 321% Debt Burden Is No 'Serious Threat' to Denmark
Euro-Area Inflation Slows to 0.8% as Economy Strains to Grow
Euro-area inflation slowed in December, retreating farther from the European Central Bank's ceiling as the 18-nation currency bloc struggled to strengthen its recovery from a record-long recession.
Storms hit German insurers hard in 2013: GDV
German insurance trade body GDV said it expects weather-related catastrophes to intensify in the coming decades, with flood frequency doubling and storm-related damages increasing by half by 2100.
Euro Jobless Scourge Seen Defying Leaders' Growth Pledge
Portugal's Baby Bust Is A Stark Sign Of Hard Times
Major Nations Have Debts At 200 Year Highs
Chart Of The Day: Greek Poverty
One In Three Americans Lived In Poverty For At Least Two Months In Recent Years
Smog shrouds Athens as Greeks choke on fuel bills
As night falls, thick clouds of black smoke cover Greece's sky, making it hard to breathe outside. The familiar winter smell of wood burning in fireplaces has turned into a public health threat, with cash-strapped Greek households turning to firewood for heat.
Kuwait's budget surplus narrows as spending soars
NAFTA: 20 years of regret for Mexico
"Gold" War Has Replaced Cold War in China/Russia vs. U.S. Struggle for Economic Dominance
Why do we have faith in gold? (one simple statistic)
The Most Despised Tax-And-Retreat French President Has ANOTHER Plan

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Thai Airways denies bankruptcy rumors
Polar Vortex Airline Damage by the Numbers
Frozen jet fuel triggers hundreds of American Airlines cancellations
Delta to end flights between Flint and Detroit
Airlines Reducing Inland Empire Service: Ontario No Longer Offers Flights to Atlanta, JFK in New York
Only one sixth of airports in Turkey yield profit

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iraqi air force strikes city to try to oust al Qaeda
US speeds up drone and missile deliveries to Iraq
Iraqi government says airstrike kills 25 al-Qaida militants in besieged province
Lasers Could Prove Crucial To Navy Survival In The Western Pacific
U.S. Adding 800 Troops for South Korea Citing Rebalance 
The U.S. is sending 800 additional troops to South Korea with upgraded equipment, the Pentagon said, citing the Obama administration's rebalance of forces to the Asia-Pacific region.
Iran rejects U.S. suggestion of Syrian peace talks role
Japan's Aging Reflects Asia's Future
Japan plans to develop battle tank engine with Turkey
Markets seen shrinking for big-ticket jet fighters
High-definition warplanes face a shrinking market as procurement agencies draw lessons  from Brazil's decision to choose outsider Gripen NG over more complex but costlier contenders from Boeing, Dassault Aviation and other manufacturers, analysts said.
Oil Money Supports Middle East Uprising
Russia claims 'historical legitimacy' as proof of ownership of Northern Territories
Both China and Russia are keeping at their plans to carve up Japan. -- RF
Botswana Bushmen: Modern life is destroying us
Hundreds of police officers are reassigned in Turkey
About 350 police officers in Ankara, the Turkish capital, were removed from their posts overnight, Turkish news outlets reported on Tuesday, the largest single purge of the police force since a corruption investigation plunged the government into  crisis last month.
As Kerry Leaves, Israel Announces More Settlements

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Workers trap 2 managers at French Goodyear factory in resurrection of `boss-napping' tactic
'Flare fired at police' from UK shale protest
Barristers stage job action to protest planned cuts in legal aid (UK)
Egyptian protesters call for expulsion of Qatari ambassador
Thai anti-government protesters march to support Bangkok "shutdown"

## Energy/resources ##
Oil could go below $80 if Iran gets solved: Eurasia's Bremmer (+ video)
Interesting discussion, whether you agree with everything or not. One big factor that seems to be overlooked here is that if oil goes down to $80 or below, much of the world's new oil production will be unprofitable. Certainly that goes for the "shale revolution," which is already losing investors, even at current prices. Canadian oil sands will be unprofitable. Many deep-sea projects will be unprofitable. From a net-energy perspective, many of the new oil plays around the world are junk energy, and will be shelved if prices drop to $80 or below. Recall that after the 2008 crash, 60% of oil projects in the Persian Gulf region were shelved until oil prices recovered. So that is the reality now, despite the frantic braying of the anti-peak oil propagandists. Either you pay through the nose, or do without petroleum products. Iran could likely make a go of it because it still has lots of oil that can be produced at a reasonable lifting cost. -- RF
Brazil's oil euphoria hits reality hard
When fields said to hold billions of barrels of oil were discovered off the coast here, exuberant government officials said the deep-sea prize would turn Brazil into a major energy player. More than six years later, the outlook for Brazil's oil industry, much like the Brazilian economy itself, is more sobering. Oil production is stagnant, the state-controlled oil company, Petrobras, is hobbled by debt, and foreign oil companies are wary of investing here.
Wave of Violence Threatens Ambitious Iraqi Oil Goals
Saudi oil minister says market fears oil shortages
Dirtiest Coal's Rebirth in Europe Flattens Medieval Towns
Europe's appetite for cheaper electricity is reviving mines that produce the dirtiest type of coal, threatening to boost pollution and raze villages that have survived since medieval times.
Icy Weather Threatens Oil Output From Texas To North Dakota
Is This Major Coal Source Gone Until March?
Big industry will quit Germany if green energy costs rise -minister
Germany will risk losing its big industries unless they are sheltered from the cost burden of renewable energy, its economy minister said while restating his commitment to a shift to low carbon fuel.
Iran's return to oil markets will not lower prices: minister
Thai PTTEP says reviewing oil sands project in Canada
Thailand's top oil and gas explorer, PTT Exploration and Production Pcl (PTTEP) said on Tuesday it is reviewing its investment in the KKD oil sands project in Canada due to higher costs.

## Got food? ##
Pricey Beef Is Set to Test Appetites (US)
Over 200 fall sick after eating frozen food laced with pesticide (Japan)
Massive amount of pesticide found in frozen croquette (Japan)

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Voluntary Simplicity and the Steady-State Economy

## Environment/health ##
Is 'Arctic Vortex' Attributable to Climate Change? Yes.
US weather: all 50 states fall below freezing
Volume of electronic waste set to rise by a third
The amount of electronic waste produced globally is set to grow by a third between 2012 and 2017, according to a forecast made by experts at a global partnership created to tackle e-waste.
Russia bans 130 radiation-contaminated used cars imported from Japan
Down Under scorching: Australia experiences warmest year on record
New compounds discovered that are hundreds of times more mutagenic
Controverisal Insecticides Could Have Bigger Impact on Biodiversity 'Than We've Ever Seen Before'
Nuclear weapon test debris 'persists' in atmosphere
Extreme high temperatures fan forest fires in Chile
Bedroom-Invading Smartphones Jumble Body's Sleep Rhythms

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
It's A Click Farm World: 1 Million Followers Cost $600 And The State Department Buys 2 Million Facebook Likes
French-UAE Intel Satellite Deal in Doubt
A United Arab Emirates (UAE) deal to purchase two intelligence satellites from France worth almost 3.4 billion dirhams (US $930 million) is in jeopardy after the discovery of what was described as "security compromising components." A high-level UAE source said the two high-resolution Pleiades-type Falcon Eye military observation satellites contained two specific US-supplied components that provide a back door to the highly secure data transmitted to the ground station.
The Biggest Terrorism Scaremongers Are THEMSELVES the Ones Promoting Terrorism
Monju FBR power plant facility PC infected with virus (Japan)
Voxx sees iris scans putting password era to bed
AT&T Thumbs Nose at Net Neutrality With 'Sponsored' Bandwidth Scheme
Life in the Electronic Concentration Camp: The Many Ways That You're Being Tracked, Catalogued and Controlled
'Burglars' Revealed: Sixties Activists Who Stole FBI COINTELPRO Files
Jesse 'The Mind' Ventura: Snowden A Patriot, Hero
Carmakers keep data on drivers' locations
A government report finds that major automakers are keeping information about where drivers have been — collected from onboard navigation systems — for varying lengths of time. Owners of those cars can't demand that the information be destroyed. And, says the U.S. senator requesting the investigation, that raises questions about driver privacy.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Last Gasp of American Democracy (Chris Hedges)
Forecast 2014 — Burning Down the House (Jim Kunstler)
The Forgotten Staircases of Abandoned Buildings [PHOTOS]

## Japan ##
SDF reservists, private ships may see combat
The government will ask commercial shipping firms to let Self-Defense Forces reservists use their vessels as military transports if remote Japanese islands have been invaded and need to be retaken, a new defense plan says.
Ex-Fukushima worker says 'duct tape, wire nets' used to repair leaking radioactive water tanks
Arrival of 'bad inflation' trend bodes ill for Japan's rebound
Remote, unowned islets targeted for state control
The government will make some 280 remote islands without owners state properties to strengthen control of the country's territory, a minister said Tuesday.
Abandoned homes a growing menace
Drug-resistant flu bug strikes Sapporo
LDP to review 'national defense force' in its draft for constitutional revision

## China ##
China issues fresh curbs on shadow banking
China in MASSIVE rare earths industry consolidation
China Services PMI Crumbles To 2nd Worst Level On Record
Cash crunch signals policy dilemma for China's central bank
China to try to make local, national GDP stats match amid skepticism

## UK ##
'Britain must scale back ambitions without more defence money'
Chancellor says more cuts on way in 'year of hard truths'
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
NHS hospitals serve 69p meals to patients as spending cut
Flood-hit UK must prepare for more extreme weather, says climate adviser
At last, a law to stop almost anyone from doing almost anything

## US ##
Office vacancy rates in U.S. unchanged amid sluggish job growth
FBI Drops Law Enforcement as 'Primary' Mission
Primary function used to be "law enforcement," is now "national security." -- RF
Frigid Temps Threaten Blackouts On Texas Power Grid
Texas Power Tops $5,000 for First Time Amid Frigid Weather
Spot wholesale electricity in Texas topped $5,000 a megawatt-hour for the first time as frigid weather boosted demand and prompted the grid operator to import generation from Mexico and ask users to conserve power until at least tomorrow.
Is college worth the debt? The cost of one year of college is higher than the per capita wage of a fully working American.
JP Morgan Pays $2 Billion to Avoid Prosecution for Its Involvement In Madoff Ponzi Scheme
Orr temporarily halts pension freeze to allow more time for mediation (Detroit)
Cold Weather in Northeast Sends Natural Gas Price Soaring
Leak, fire reported at Oklahoma natgas pipeline
IRS sees big jump in identity theft, doubles number of prosecutions, indictments in 2013
The Internal Revenue Service says there has been a big jump in thieves stealing Social Security numbers to fraudulently claim tax refunds.
EIA Releases Special Alert on Gas & Power Markets as Prices Soar
Near record low temperatures today in New York and Boston are driving up spot gas and power prices, as utilities struggle to obtain power generation fuel amid pipeline constraints caused by surging demand. Some East Coast generators have taken to burning oil in cases where they cannot source natural gas fast enough or in adequate supply.
Voluntary government checkpoints spark backlash
Fund Flow Records Smashed: Equity Funds Get Record $352 Billion Inflow, Bond Funds Lose Record $86 Billion
For Too Many Americans, College Today Isn't Worth It
Tuesday Trivia: How Many Americans Applied For 36 Ice Cream Maker Jobs?

And finally...
Australia police free naked man stuck in washing machine
New Zealand baker teaches client 'a lesson' with poop-shaped cake




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