Tuesday, February 11, 2014


News Links, February 11-12, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Eurozone watchdog says some banks should go under: FT
Kazakhstan devalues tenge by 19 percent to stymie speculators
Toyota to Shut Australian Car Plants Ending Local Industry
Fitch Ratings downgrades Puerto Rico's debt
Montebourg Complains "Europe a Victim of Currency Wars", Seeks "Political Battle" to Devalue the Euro
Portugal Hopes to Find Underground Economy Tax Cheats by Giving Away Free Lottery Tickets
The underground economy thrives because taxes are simply too high.
Venezuela Is a Crisis In the Making – Take a Look
China Gold Buying Surges 41% To 1,176 Tonnes In 2013
Is India going back to bullion?
Gold smugglers turn creative to beat law (India)
Ex Oriente to add gold vending machines in Middle East
Ex Oriente Lux AG plans to increase the number of its "Gold to Go" bullion vending machines located in shopping malls to airports this year as it taps rising Middle East demand.
Jim Rickards: Target Gold Price Between $7,000 and $9,000
Barclays to cut up to 12,000 jobs
Daimler says to pursue cost cuts beyond 2 billion euro initial goal
Thai tourism, retailers paying the price for drawn-out unrest
Iceland Girds for Fight as Suit Targets Half $14 Billion GDP
Dubai real estate still at risk of another bubble
Federal budget 2014 puts Bitcoin in crosshairs with new anti-money laundering regulations for virtual currencies (Canada)
Another Bitcoin exchange goes down
Why India's emerging market is in trouble

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Commercial pilots often head to wrong airports
At a time when a cellphone can guide you to your driveway, commercial pilots attempt to land at the wrong airport more often than most passengers realize or government officials admit, according to an Associated Press search of government safety data and news reports since the early 1990s.
Airports adding downtown rail connections to boost business
Airbus says Asia-Pacific will be key driver of growth
Yes, There's a Pilot Shortage: Salaries Start at $21,000

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Mexico vigilantes parade through Knights Templar stronghold
U.S. Citizen May Be Targeted With Drone Strike: Reports
Yemen reorganized into six-region federation
Indonesia Officials Skip Singapore Airshow as Tensions Increase
Iraq seeks U.S. air traffic control system as air force grows
Household explosion replaces population explosion as world concern
But this trend will be reversed as people come together in larger households. As I've pointed out before, in some countries already more and more young adults are staying in the nest instead of starting their own households. -- RF
Spain seeks arrest of former Chinese president over Tibet
Officials: Obama Mulls Assassinating Another US Citizen

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Why Protests And Civil Unrest Are Growing Around The World
Chinese villagers mob police in environmental spat: Xinhua
Around 100 villagers attacked a police station in southwestern China on Friday as part of an environmental protest, state media said in a rare report about what are increasingly common demonstrations.

## Energy/resources ##
Extreme Winter Weather Puts Strain on Power Systems, Lets Wind Energy Shine
The Mineral Question: how energy and technology will determine the future of mining
In the end, it is all a question of net energy (or "energy return on energy invested, EROEI). The diminishing EROEI of fossil fuels is spilling to all sectors of the economy, including the mining industry, causing increasing costs which add up to the problems caused by the depletion of high grade ores.
Brazil May Turn to Gas as Drought Cuts Off Power
Russian Lukoil to Double Overseas Output with Iraq
Iran cracking door open for oil investors
Rebels blow up Pakistan pipelines
Gas pipeline in Sinai Peninsula bombed
Total Plans More Drilling After Oil Exploration Failures
Three years and $7.3 billion into an exploration drive, Chief Executive Officer Christophe de Margerie still finds large discoveries elusive. Better drilling results -- at least 12 "high-impact" wells are planned this year -- are critical to bolster output and profit.
Iron ore plunges to 7-month low
Australia's three largest iron ore miners are trading in the red today as iron ore, a key steelmaking ingredient, continues to decline in value, falling to US$120.90 a tonne overnight and sitting at a seven-month low.
Petrobras Seen Struggling to Meet Targets by Odebrecht
Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4), the most indebted oil company, is facing difficulties meeting its goal of doubling output by 2020, said supplier Odebrecht Oleo & Gas SA.
Do you want to know an oil refinery secret? Look to Twitter
A glimpse of the secrecy surrounding refinery operations. -- RF
Kazakh President Sees 'Serious' Oil at Blighted Kashagan in 2014
Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev said he expects "serious" output from the nation's largest oil deposit this year after waiting almost half his 23 years in office for the $48 billion project to start.
EIA Lowers US Oil Output Forecast But Highlights Shale Upside
The Energy Information Administration on Tuesday lowered its U.S. crude oil production forecast for this year and next due to recent severe weather but said improving technology could boost shale oil output over the next two years.

## Got food? ##
'It is raw, it is surprising': How McDonald's gross McNugget video is becoming the new marketing standard
After recalling 8.7 million pounds of beef, California firm shuts down
Overfishing, pollution leave Turkish waters bare
New GMO Corn Could Be Pushed on Europe Despite Widespread Political Opposition
Farm Profits Seen Falling as Five-Year Crop Boom Ends
Best Tips for Starting Seeds Indoors

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Your "Water Footprint" Is Larger Than You Think
Medieval Spanish ghost town now self-sufficient ecovillage

## Environment/health ##
Who, What, Why: Do beavers prevent flooding?
Torrential rains kill at least 50 in Burundi, toll seen rising
Kosovo rations water amid worst drought in decades
Impact of fluoride on neurological development in children
If Ocean Heat Pump Switches on, Expect to Feel It
Maps Show Expected Redistribution of Global Species Due to Climate Change
Climate change may drive fish species from Earth's equatorial regions
West Virginia Hit Again as Rupture Spews Coal Slurry Into Creek
Salt Beds Point to Nuclear Waste Solution
Lack of prescription drug controls a mortal risk (Japan)
19 Statistics About The Drugging Of America That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Greenwald/Scahill: How the NSA Helps the US Assassinate
In their first piece written for their new media venture, journalist duo reveal shocking interplay between digital surveillance and Obama's assassination program
Why Traffic To These Google Alternatives Is Soaring
Huge hack 'ugly sign of future' for internet threats
Drone use highlights questions for journalists
Technology firms urge changes to US spying
A coalition of the nation's leading technology firms joined an international protest Tuesday against the U.S. government's spying programs, urging more limits on collections of Americans' electronic data and greater oversight and transparency about the secret operations.
Email Shows Effort to Shield Bin Laden Photos
A newly-released email shows that 11 days after the killing of terror leader Osama bin Laden in 2011, the U.S. military's top special operations officer ordered subordinates to destroy any photographs of the al-Qaida founder's corpse or turn them over to the CIA.
Fingerprint and Eye-Scanning Drones to Make Deliveries in UAE
Malware 'may be state-sponsored'

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
How To Time Collapses
The New Dark Age
'Breathtaking' Corruption in the EU
The urban explorers of the ex-USSR (gallery)
Steady drop in Japan's current account surplus could boost risk of financial collapse

## Japan ##
Japan govt debt reaches record 1,017 trillion yen - MOF
Japan's current account woes throw spotlight on economic risks
Worst blizzard in 45 years claims 11; 1,200 hurt
Nearly everything in cities is supplied by trucks making their endless rounds. And when those trucks can't make their rounds for some reason, shortages occur. I visited some grocery stores on the two days after the snow, and saw empty and thinly stocked spots, mostly in perishable food sections. A bakery, usually well-stocked during the late afternoon shopping hours, was closed, its shelves empty. And as reported by the media, many convenience stores had some completely empty shelves (check out the photo here . This is, of course, a mini-replay of what happened after the earthquake/tsunami/Fukushima disaster, and it shows how fragile the system is. -- RF
Must see: Snowfall in Tokyo sees customers clearing shelves across the region (+ photos)
Japan may lift arms export ban for international groups: Kyodo
Record 12.8 billion cyberattacks seen in Japan last year
Japan faced with gloomy data ahead of tax hike
Worker shortage hits construction sites
Hundreds rally against Okinawa base move as Kennedy arrives
Tepco hid record-level radiation data last July
Tokyo Electric Power Co. did not tell the public until recently that massively high levels of radiation were found in groundwater collected last July at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, even though the utility was aware of the data that month, according to sources.
Railways largely disrupted at night
The heavy snow that blanketed the Tokyo metropolitan area over the weekend has demonstrated once again the vulnerability of urban traffic to abnormal weather.
600,000 votes for Tamogami may signal rise of ultraconservatives

## China ##
China's Central Bank Vows To Fight Credit 'Crisis'
As China Orders Its Smaller Banks To Load Up On Cash, Is The Biggest Ever "Unlimited QE" About To Be Unleashed?
Getting At The Heart Of China's Resource Quest
Beijing's elephant graveyard: how China still drives world ivory market
China Surpasses India As Biggest Buyer Of Gold Following Record 2013 Imports, Consumption
China, Taiwan Hold First Direct Talks Since 1949
China says gets tough on polluters, nixes projects worth $19.5 bln
Extremely Late to the China Slowdown Thesis Party
China to hit 'peak coal' within the decade

## UK ##
Two in three street lights in Worcestershire to be switched off
UK floods: transport chaos as major highways disappear under water
Climate change said likely factor in rains, floods soaking Britain
Environment Agency: 'No end in sight' to flooding misery
15ft-deep hole appears on M2 in Kent
UK Police And Companies Will Have Access To Database Of All England's Medical Records

## US ##
Alaska's Largest Refinery to Close Down
Explosion at Fracking Well Sparks Fire Set to Rage for Days
An explosion at a natural gas fracking well in Pennsylvania on Tuesday has sent one person to the hospital, left one person injured and sparked a fire that could take days to contain.
Relief at the pump far away, AAA says
Lights Out for NSA? Maryland Lawmakers Push to Cut Water, Electricity to Spy Agency Headquarters
'Lives on the Line': Prison Hunger Strike Escalates As Men Refuse Liquids
25 Signs That The US Middle Class Is Facing Annihilation
22 Facts About The Coming Demographic Tsunami That Could Destroy Our Economy All By Itself
Scary 1929 market chart gains traction
High heating bills ravage consumers
Propane Shortages Leave Many Without Heat
Major winter storm to pound South, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast
Bro Can't Find A Job After Law School, So His Parents Will Pay Someone To Hire Him
Oil Spikes Above $100, Poses New Threat to Economy

And finally...
Gigantic Rats Will Rule the Earth When Other Animals Go Extinct, Says Scientist
Can of fermented fish, stuck in roof eave, is raising a cabin's roof (Norway)
Crocodiles found to be accomplished tree-climbers
Word to the wise: DO NOT climb a tree to escape attacking crocodiles! -- RF

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