Sunday, February 23, 2014


News Links, February 22-24, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Corporate cuts keep economy afloat (Australia)
WHEN the euphoria of the G20 settles, the reality presented by corporate Australia this week is a national economy just barely ticking along with profit growth driven almost entirely by cost-cutting and with revenue growth of just 2.6 per cent.
S&P expects Ukraine debt default if political crisis that's left more than 70 dead isn't resolved quickly
France is looking straight down the barrel of a deflation shock
Bank Runs Begin In Ukraine As Russia's Largest Bank Halts Lending
China Starts To Make A Power Move Against The U.S. Dollar
Even China's Economists Are Singing the Blues
United Technologies' Sikorsky unit to cut 600 jobs
Sikorsky Aircraft, the helicopter unit of United Technologies Corp (UTX.N), on Friday said it would lay off 600 workers beginning in the next few weeks, citing continued "challenging and unstable economic conditions."
Jumeirah launches $685 Friday brunch
Project Midas: "Bad Bank" for "Bad Bank Debt"
G-20 Agrees To Grow Global Economy By $2 Trillion, Has No Idea How To Actually Achieve It
Corporate Colonialism: Winners and Losers of Global 'Free' Trade
However, as Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos acknowledged, there will be "winners and losers" along the way. The winners will inevitably be the same as always: big industry, big agriculture and big finance, including, of course, big domestic players such as Mexico's Cemex and Chile's Antofagasta. As for the losers, they will be the rest of society, in particular the poorest and most vulnerable.
Seen On An ATM In Western Australia
Spain's crash landlords: empty homes spawn black housing market
The hundreds of thousands of empty homes across Madrid has spawned a black market for cheap housing in which groups illegally break into, and then let, repossessed properties.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Thai Airways suffers net loss of B13bn
Weather, terror threat unlikely to hurt airlines' bottom lines
NYC Airport Fog Slows Travel as 7,000 Flights Delayed
Union to fight United Airlines' decision to cut 240 jobs in Canada
Qantas staff fear 3000 jobs may go as airline cuts costs
Spirit Airlines performing well but not immune from the cost creep virus spreading among US carriers
Brazil's airlines wobble as the economy wobbles and infrastructure upgrades lag expected growth
Air travel chaos as unions vow to strike at same time (Ireland)
Shortage of pilots is impacting regional airlines like Allegiant
Protest against new airport for west of France turns violent

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Caracas Chronicles: Riots in Venezuela Continue 19th Day; Best Wishes but a Sober Assessment
Oil Thieves of the Niger Delta
Crowds hail Ukraine ex-PM Yulia Tymoshenko
Whereabouts and legitimacy of Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych unclear
Tymoshenko ally in presidency role
US tells Russia to keep troops out of Ukraine as Crimea flashpoint looms
Militants shoot down Iraqi helicopter and occupy northern town
Mexico captures No.1 drug kingpin 'Shorty' Guzman
US expands military net over Africa, checking China's influence
U.S. Adopts Israeli Demand to Bring Iran's Missiles into Nuclear Talks
Taliban attack kills 19 Afghan soldiers in eastern Afghanistan
China, eyeing Japan, seeks WW2 focus for Xi during Germany visit
New Jet-Powered Drone Can Kill 1,800 Miles From Home Base
Stealth subs to increase combat capability of Russia's Black Sea Fleet

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Turkish police clash with protesters over Internet restriction laws
Tens of Thousands in France Say No New Airport!
Competing Marches Bring Hundreds of Thousands to Streets of Venezuela
Thailand crisis: Deadly attacks on opposition rallies
Police fire tear gas at Istanbul anti-government protest

## Energy/resources ##
The Peak Oil Crisis: A Winter Update
A good read. Tom Whipple, who has followed peal oil for years, here gives an update and summary of the global oil production situation. -- RF
South Africa's Eskom lifts power emergency, system still tight
Gold Rush Ghost Town Bodes Ill for California Power Flow: Energy
8-hour outages leave residents reminiscing about good old days (India)
German utilities should pool ailing hard coal plants, union says
North Sea oil companies 'must drill together' to maximise production (UK)

## Got food? ##
Cod shortage hits Cape Cod
Falling catches have forced the fisherman of Cape Cod to tie up their boats and turn to the American government for a bailout to save the region's fishing community from a spiral of decline.
DIY Seed Starting Kits (Video)
WHO warns of food crisis in South Africa
Hunger and malnutrition, fueled by poverty, unemployment and the price of food and petrol have left many families battling to meet their basic household needs.

## Environment/health ##
Fracking Boom Leaves Texans Under a Toxic Cloud
Study Confirms Tar Sands Contamination First Nations Warned of for Years
The study by Environment Canada shows that tailings ponds, open 'lakes' that hold toxic bi-products from tar sands mining, are leaching into groundwater and contaminating Alberta's Athabasa River.
Ottawa sinkhole shuts down part of Laurier Avenue, creates major transit delays
Coal-ash dumps threaten community

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Why Would the Federal Communications Commission Ask Newsrooms About Their Story Selection Process?
Matt Taibbi quits Rolling Stone, joins Glenn Greenwald
Neiman Marcus Hackers Set Off 60,000 Alerts While Bagging Credit Card Data
Venezuela's Internet Crackdown Escalates into Regional Blackout
Google Will Soon Know You Better Than Your Spouse Does, Top Exec Says

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Failing health becomes Greek tragedy
Gold and the beast: a brief history the Roman conquest of Dacia
See the future of the globalized economy. -- RF
The urban hyenas that attack rough sleepers
London is infested by urban foxes. Delhi is besieged by urban monkeys. Addis Ababa is plagued by urban hyenas who have moved in to the city from the surrounding hills and taken up residence in the capital.
Internal report says Parks Canada buildings in worse shape than claimed
Broadband 'blackspot' map ignores crumbling copper (Australia)

## Japan ##
Japan Trade Deficit Swells to Record as Import Costs Surge
The Madness of Abenomics In One (Crazy) Chart
Can Japan Be Switzerland? Abe's Goal With 'Collective Security'

## China ##
Chinese cities outstripping whole countries in infrastructure debt
Spending by the city of Wuhan on infrastructure construction alone is equivalent to the UK's expenses for updating and enhancing the infrastructure of the entire country, according to British media. The city is part of a countrywide, multi-trillion dollar infrastructure upgrade.
China Plans Massive 1,500 Tonne Gold Storage Vault
Beijing raises pollution alert, limits factory activity
"The Pig In The Python Is About To Be Expelled": A Walk Thru Of China's Hard Landing, And The Upcoming Global Harder Reset

## UK ##
January surplus of £4.7bn smallest in four years
Government's finances weaker than expected for month in which it usually receives more than it borrows because of tax receipts

## US ##
Wall Street Landlords Buy Bad Loans for Cheaper Homes 
Senior, 64: 'I'm never going to be able to retire.' (video)
Exploding student loan debt threatens the housing recovery
Detroit bankruptcy plan includes deep pension cuts
$1 Trillion Student Loan Problem Keeps Getting Worse
Indiana man faces felony theft charge for allegedly stealing hot dog
Windstream says cutting 400 jobs to increase efficiency
Federal water allocation to California farms hits record low
California's Water Woes Deepen: 'A Bellwether of Things to Come'
More U.S. workers take second jobs
Powerball, Mega Millions give state budgets a lift
Typically, low-income and hard-up people play the lottery, so states are benefiting from a gambling system that preys on the poor in order to bolster their budgets. In effect, lottery losers are voluntarily paying an extra tax in order to buy an infinitesimally small probability of winning. Of course, this happens in all countries with lotteries. -- RF
Most Economically Thriving U.S. Cities Have Greatest Income Inequality

And finally...
Real Life Doll Uses Hypnotherapy To Become Brainless
Woman arrested at Toronto airport had 10,000 diamonds hidden in body
Former general: Forget the sword; Jesus will return with an AR-15

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