Wednesday, February 19, 2014


News Links, February 18-19, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Analysts say NZ economy ready for collapse
Japanese GDP and Exports Seriously Underperform Expectations
Turkey economic model faltering
Financial analysts now include Turkey among the so-called Fragile Five economies at risk of a downturn.
Two-Week Price Inflation in Argentina hits 30%
Spanish Bad Loans Hit Record; Surge Most In A Year
Bank of America warns US dollar is in trouble
"Money Launderer Until Proven Innocent" - Italy Imposes 20% Tax Withholding On All Inbound Money Transfers
Survey shows growing distrust against the euro in France
US Household Debt Climbs by Most Since 2007, Mortgage Debt Leads the Way; Annually Student Debt and Autos Lead the Way
Given stagnant wages and higher taxes, the only way households can increase spending is to go further into debt.
Bank Runs Spread To Thailand

## Precious metals ##
Silver Surges By 6% In Shanghai - Longest Run Of Gains Since 1968
China Overtakes India as Top Gold Consumer
Gold Jewelry Is Back In Demand
Global Gold Coin And Bar Demand Surged 28% To Record 1,654 Tonnes In 2013
Demand for gold in Japan up threefold

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Relentless Snowstorms Forcing Highest Number Of Flight Cancellations In 25 Years
Airlines Drop 500 Flights in U.S. Northeast Storm Plan
Malaysia Airlines forecast to post core net loss of RM1.01bil in FY13
Computer problems delay United flights nationwide

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iran 'may send forces to Pakistan for captured guards'
Iran at talks: No scrapping any nuclear facility
Venezuela leader expels US officials amid protests
U.S. Navy to deploy 'Star Wars'-like laser system this summer; electromagnetic rail guns not far behind
Egyptian militants warn tourists to leave or face attack
Eurozone crisis is just getting started
Withdrawal from Politics of Disillusioned Shia Leader Muqtada al-Sadr Will Only Add to Iraq's Political Turmoil - But He May Not Officially Retire
Report: Israeli arm dealers tried to sell arms to Iran through Greece

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thai PM under siege, lengthy protests take toll on economy
Police, Protesters Clash in Thai Capital as Two People Killed
Riot police move in against Kiev protest camp
As things finally look safe, global unrest hits
At least two killed in Guinea protests over power cuts
Protest over power tariff hike
Protesters flood streets as Venezuela opposition leader arrested

## Energy/resources ##
'Big oil' getting smaller as production keeps falling
The biggest western oil companies are continuing to see their oil output decline, despite record investment in recent years spurred by sustained crude prices in excess of $100/barrel, according to data released by the companies.
Russian Lukoil Considers Re-Entry into Iranian Oil
Iranian Oil Exports Increase After Nuclear Deal
Shaking off some of the restrictions of international sanctions, Iran managed to boost its oil exports by 100,000 barrels per day in January. According to the IEA, Iran was able to export 1.32 million barrels per day last month, with the increased flow going to China, Japan, and India.
Banks sitting on huge stockpiles of raw uranium
In the past four years banks have amassed low-grade stockpiles of the nuclear fuel ingredient larger than those held by Iran, and enough to run China's nuclear plants for a year.
Another Nation Goes Coal Critical
Vietnam became the latest country to say it is seeking coal imports. Officials stated they are trying to secure about 10 million tonnes of thermal coal yearly--starting in 2017. That's of course a little ways out. But it appears even now Vietnam's changing supply-demand dynamics are beginning to impact the regional market.
Cold Weather Cuts into Oil and Gas Production
Egypt's energy quagmire could sink Sisi
Libya Oil Output Falls to 375,000 Bopd, Protest Affects El Sharara Pipeline
China Looking At Role In Cyprus Natural Gas Plans

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Police: Power cut in Peru when wire, conductors pilfered

## Got food? ##
15 Reasons Why Your Food Bill Is Going To Start SOARING
Milk could go up 60 cents a gallon
Price of Beef Has Reached a Record High
U.S. food companies find going 'non-GMO' no easy feat
The hurdles are so high that the growing "GMO-free" trend could result in a price spike for consumers, industry experts say. Eighteen years after GMO crops were introduced to help farmers fight weeds and bugs, they are so pervasive in the supply chain that securing large and reliable supplies of non-GMO ingredients is nearly impossible in some cases.
Grocery Manufacturers Want Foods with GMOs to Be Labeled as 'Natural'
Food prices soar as incomes stand still

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Passive Solar Design: Creating Sun-Inspired Homes

## Environment/health ##
Growing industrialization threatens the deep ocean's ecosystems, considered key to the health of the planet
Beyond marine life depletion, the deep sea also is being threatened by the search for new sources for energy and precious materials. Oil and gas exploration now routinely targets seabeds in more than a thousand meters of water depth. Demand for modern technology devices—from cell phones to hybrid car batteries—has fueled a push by the mining sector to deep waters in search of new sources of metals and other materials.
Deep-sea mining 'must responsibly respect ecosystems'
Train accidents stir worries about crude transport
Toxic Chemicals Linked to 'Global, Silent Pandemic' Striking Children Worldwide
Nanomotors controlled inside living human cells for the first time
Promises of Prosperity, Fracking Delivers Devastating Toxic Emissions
Fracking Well Blowout Causes Oil And Chemical Wastewater Spill In North Dakota (Updated)

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Cyberattack on Energy Sector would be 'Devastating'
Reporting From the Web's Underbelly
Docs Show NSA Targeted Wikileaks, Assange Vows Legal Fight
France's Snecma targeted by hackers - researcher

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Reaching Limits to Growth: What Should our Response Be?
Oil limits seem to be pushing us toward a permanent downturn, including a crash in credit availability, loss of jobs, and even  possible government collapse. In this process, we are likely to lose access to both fossil fuels and grid electricity. Supply chains will likely need to be very short, because of the lack of credit. This will lead to a need for the use of local materials.
Health systems, neoliberalism, and the end of growth: The World Health Organization in denial
5 Economic Collapses That Changed History
Is Atlanta's 'snowpocalypse' panic a depiction of societal collapse?

## Japan ##
Snow-clogged roads trigger food shortages, send vegetable prices surging
Hungry drivers, shoppers find shelves bare
Expressways gradually cleared after heavy snow in Japan, but thousands still isolated
Japan's economy grows 0.3 percent in fourth quarter of 2013
Japan's economy grew 0.3 percent in the last quarter of 2103 from the previous quarter, or 1.0 percent in annualized terms, the government said Monday.
That's hardly different from no growth at all. Truly, growth is dead. -- RF
Weak spending shows Japanese consumer doubts about Abenomics
Bank of Japan holds fire despite soft GDP, expands loan programs
New rate hike by Hokkaido Electric
Tokyo Gets Impatient on Reactor Restarts
Eager to restart reactors, utilities increase spending on safety by 60%
Japan's Trade Gap With China Expected to Grow
65% to curb household spending due to sales tax hike: Mainichi poll
People will soon feel the failures of Abenomics

## China ##
China Bank Loans: Reform Or Bust
The record 1.3trn yuan of loans extended by Chinese banks in January suggest that authorities have loosened credit to limit the possibility of a sharp economic slowdown amidst the ongoing shadow banking crackdown. While this may allay fears of an imminent collapse, new stresses on the banking sector suggest that lending growth will have to weaken and the economy will continue to slow.
China Folds On Reforms - Bails Out 2nd Shadow-Banking Default After "Last Drop Of Blood" Threats
China concerned at Japan holding weapons-grade plutonium
Toxic smog threatens millions of Chinese lives
Gold price signals China credit bubble bursting as investors seek safety
China's "unfolding credit crunch" is having an unforeseen and dramatic impact on gold prices as investors urgently stock up on the precious metal as a form of financial protection against a sharp correction in the world's second largest economy.
China Fooled the World (But It Cannot Last)
Chinese Iron Ore Stockpiles Rise To Record As End Demand Plummets
China mopping up liquidity flood before G-20 meeting

## UK ##
Street lights switching off
TWO THIRDS of street lights will be switched off across the county overnight in a bid to save half a million pounds a year. The move will see hundreds of residential streets plunged into darkness between midnight and 6am with only selected roads, bends and junctions left lit up.
Average UK house price hits £250,000, ONS says

## US ##
U.S. Plunges to #46 in World Press Freedom Index, Below Romania and Just Above Haiti
Oil price above $100 on US heating fuel demand
Half of U.S. prison sex crimes involve staff toward inmates: fed study
Woman Arrested For Not Returning Movie Rented In 2005
When the housing market is owned by Fed banks: Federal Reserve went from holding zero in mortgage-backed securities to over $1.5 billion.
Are U.S. consumers crumbling?
US consumer debt rises in Q4 by most since 2007
Capital One says it can show up at cardholders' homes, workplaces
The credit card company's recent contract update includes terms that sound menacing and creepy.
Water in America: Is It Safe to Drink?
CBO report: Minimum wage hike could cost 500,000 jobs
Oil and Gas Projects Face Labor Shortage
Crude oil tops $101
Student Loans Hit Record $1.08 Trillion; Delinquent Student Debt Rises To All Time High
China Sold Second-Largest Amount Ever Of US Treasurys In December: And Guess Who Comes To The Rescue
What we know about income inequaliy: America's disappearing 'middle-skill' jobs and falling wages
Top States for Cigarette Smuggling
Unemployment Becomes Top Worry Among Americans

And finally...
Man calls 911 over wife's stuck zipper
This Is What Happens When You Watch Mainstream Media TV News (video)

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