Thursday, February 27, 2014

 

News Links, February 25-28, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
China's yuan might ultimately challenge dollar: ECB's Mersch
Walmart International: Lousy Economies 'Everywhere We Operate'
Saxo Bank's Steen Jakobsen Warns of Global Economic Vacuum, China Slowdown, Germany Growth Negative, 30% S&P Correction
The lost generation of Spain's unemployed youth
Rome days away from bankruptcy
Discount stores flourish as recession habits persist (Europe)
Incentives are coming for payments by phones
Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox goes dark in blow to virtual currency
Too Big To Fail? Crypto-Community Calls For Mt. Gox Bitcoin Bailout
Ukraine Hryvnia Down 17% in Two Weeks as Run on Banks Intensifies; 7% of Bank Deposits Withdrawn in 3 Days
This is no recovery, this is a bubble – and it will burst
South Korea Reform Plan Resembles Japan's Abenomics
Canadians on target for record year of personal debt despite better end to 2013: TransUnion
French Joblessness Surges To New Record High (Up 30 Of Last 32 Months)
Ghanaians Cut Savings to Keep Babies Fed as Prices Soar: Economy
G-20 growth target may burn out global economy

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Qantas to Cut 5,000 Jobs by 2017 Amid A$252 Million Loss
Delta to award frequent flier bonus based on ticket price
SpiceJet sparks another fare war as airlines face lean season
AirAsia X reports loss in 2013
THAI loses 1.2 Billion baht in 2013
Ryanair says cross Atlantic fare will be under $20
The airline would charge for meals and baggage, O'Leary said. It would also rely on "a very high number of business or premium seats" to cover the cost of the flight, he said.
Regional airlines face 'irreversible collapse' (Australia)
American Airlines Drops Bereavement Fares
Latest airline perk: Safe distance from the masses
The idea is to provide an exclusive experience - inaccessible, even invisible, to the masses in coach. It's one way that a gap between the world's wealthiest 1 percent and everyone else has widened.
United Has Seen 22,500 Flight Cancellations Already in 2014, Guess About Guidance

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Ukraine protesters nominate legislator for new PM
Yatsenyuk, 39, is a millionaire former banker who served as economy minister, foreign minister and parliamentary speaker before Yanukovych took office in 2010. Widely viewed as a technocratic reformer, he appears to enjoy the support of the U.S.
Russia Mobilizes Military, But Who Really Threatens Ukraine?
Is the U.S. Backing Neo-Nazis in Ukraine?
Rise in West African piracy prompts boost to shipping security off Angola
China blames Philippines for latest South China Sea incident
Viktor Yanukovych 'is in Moscow', says Russian news agency
Two Russian Warships Enter Black Sea Through Bosphorus; Another Docks In Cuba
Iraq signs deal to buy arms, ammunition from Iran - documents
Baghdad bombings leave scores dead and more injured
Obama's War Against Civilization
Qatar's foreign domestic workers subjected to slave-like conditions
Passenger planes could be protected from terrorists by laser defence shield

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
'US Troops Out Now': Philippine Protesters Push Against Base Expansion
Backlash: Woman attacked in SF punk bar for Google Glass
Gunfire by night becomes new norm in downtown Bangkok
Labor Protests Clog Seoul's Streets
Protesters are back in the streets in Caracas

## Energy/resources ##
Must read: Beginning of the End? Oil Companies Cut Back on Spending
Dream of U.S. Oil Independence Slams Against Shale Costs
The path toward U.S. energy independence, made possible by a boom in shale oil, will be much harder than it seems. Just a few of the roadblocks: Independent producers will spend $1.50 drilling this year for every dollar they get back. Shale output drops faster than production from conventional methods. It will take 2,500 new wells a year just to sustain output of 1 million barrels a day in North Dakota's Bakken shale, according to the Paris-based International Energy Agency. Iraq could do the same with 60.
Mining industry rushing to raise investment, Reuters survey shows (Canada)
A trickle of new investment into global miners has created a tidal wave of interest among hundreds of small mineral explorers desperate for cash, a Reuters survey shows, setting the stage for a competition to raise funds that some are sure to lose. The mining sector has been in a prolonged downturn. Only months ago, it was nearly impossible for small explorers to find investors, reducing some companies to raising as little as C$50,000 ($45,100) at a time.
Russian Lukoil Halts Oil Supplies To Ukraine Odessa Refinery
Investors Mount Attack on Norway in $20 Billion Oil, Gas Row
"The tax increase on the Norwegian shelf comes at the worst possible time as oil companies all over the world are struggling with cash flow and value creation."
Is the Natural Gas Revolution All It's Cracked Up to Be?
Fossil Fuels to Keep Dominating Energy Consumption Mix
Despite more than 25 years of efforts to reduce fossil fuel consumption and boost renewable energy use, fossil fuels will keep dominating the global energy consumption mix, said International Energy Agency (IEA) Chief Economist Fatih Birol.
Energy-starved Pakistan sets sights on coal
Petrobras aims to be among world's 5 largest oil companies in 2030
Geelong refinery sold as Shell's oil production continues to decline
What the Resource Curse Means for Afghanistan
Royal Dutch Shell shuts Nigerian oil pipeline
Royal Dutch Shell PLC's UK:RDSA -0.32% Nigerian unit said Thursday that the Nembe Creek Trunk oil pipeline was shut down to stop leakage caused by oil theft.
China Cutbacks Put Burma Oil Terminal, Pipeline in Doubt
Pakistan: US Won't Let Us Finish Iran Gas Pipeline
U.S. Moves One Step Closer To Offshore Drilling Along East Coast
Blackout hits entire Mindanao grid (Philippines)
ERCOT narrowly avoids rolling power blackouts during extreme cold (US)
Rolling blackouts in Indonesia

## Got food? ##
El Nino threatens to return, hit global food production
China's smog suffocating agriculture?
Agriculture Secretary Announces $3 Million for a New Program to Improve Pollinator Health
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will provide close to $3 million in technical and financial assistance for interested farmers and ranchers to help improve the health of bees, which play an important role in crop production.
Dangers of Fracking Farmland: Our Food Supply's at Risk
California Drought Threatens to Destabilize Agriculture Markets
Locked in the 'Doomsday Vault': Samples of more than 20,000 crops from 100 nations added to 800,000 existing stock at seed bank that will protect the world's biodiversity in the event of a disaster
31 Percent Of All Food In America Is Wasted – And Why That Is About To End
U.S. Lets 141 Trillion Calories Of Food Go To Waste Each Year
'Yoga Mat Sandwich'? Plastics Chemical Found in Over 500 Food Items

## Environment/health ##
Smell of forest pine can limit climate change - researchers
Geoengineering: Path Towards Further Climate Chaos
Heat extremes increase despite global warming hiatus: scientists
Malaysia, Singapore grapple with prolonged dry spell
New Study Confirms One of Agent Orange's Toxic Legacies
The researchers found that from 1971-1982, Air Force Reservists who flew C-123 aircraft which had been used to spray Agent Orange and continued to be used for other operations were exposed to levels of dioxin that exceeded U.S standards.
It still isn't over: The polar vortex is about to hit for the third time
Fukushima's radioactive water reaches the West Coast of Canada

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Obama Asks Court To Make NSA Database Even Bigger
Smartphone giants want your body
Smartphone makers are fighting for space on your wrist and your head, lucrative real estate for a new wave of high-tech devices if only they can persuade you to wear them.
Reddit Censors Big Story About Government Manipulation and Disruption of the Internet
Data Breaches Couldn't Get Worse? Now An Onslaught Of Attacks On Healthcare Networks And Even Devices
Switzerland Shifting From Bankers to Bunkers in Data Push
First contagious WiFi computer virus goes airborne, spreads like the common cold
'Truly Shocking': Govt Spies Hacked into Live Webcam Chats of Millions
Energy firm cyber-defence is 'too weak', insurers say
Boeing Is Working On a Self-Destructing Phone For Spies
Identity theft tops consumer complaints...again

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Eating Our Seed Corn: How Much of our "Growth" Is From One-Time Cashouts?

## Japan ##
Air pollution PM2.5 levels rise across Japan, 10 prefectures issue warnings
Water treatment system at Fukushima plant halts
Japan to hand over plutonium to US
21 dead in Japan from virus spread by mites
Abu Dhabi to almost double Japan oil stockpile
Abu Dhabi has agreed to nearly double a strategic crude stockpile in Japan to 1 million kilolitres as the nation's demand for oil grows in the wake of the Fukushima disaster, Wam reported.

## China ##
China's looming water crisis
In a report by the Chinese News Service, Jiao Yong, Vice Minister of Water Resources, said, "China has more than 400 cities short of water, some 110 of which are facing serious scarcity." A study by the China's Ministry of Water Resources found that approximately 55% of China's 50,000 rivers that existed in the 1990s have disappeared.
Beijing Pollution: How Bad Does It Have to Get for a Red Alert?
Crisis Gauge Rises to Record High as Swaps Avoided
China's official PMI seen hitting eight-month low
China's Xi to run Internet security body: state media

## UK ##
Co-op to report worst results in history
Rise of Generation Rent as home ownership hits 25-year low
Payday loans customers seeking debt advice almost double in number

## US ##
Winter extremes heating up spring power prices: analysis
Sony Closing 20 Retail Stores, Cutting 1,000 Jobs In US
Since 2000, There Are 29 Percent More Big Banks and 24 Percent Fewer Small Banks
Army Gives Out $500,000 Armored Trucks for Free (video)
The U.S. Army is giving away 13,000 armored trucks, worth about $500,000 each. The 20-ton MRAPs, or Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected trucks, were built specifically to save U.S. soldiers from roadside bombs in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Now the trucks are patrolling U.S. city streets. U.S. law enforcement agencies have received the lion's share of this high-powered military surplus.
Twinkies Bankruptcy Exposes Peril to Some U.S. Pensions: Economy
Presenting the #1 financial haven for dictators and criminals
America's Beleaguered Middle Class
Standard & Poor's 500 index closes at record high
America in 25 years: Here's what to expect
Some predictions are accurate, I think, but others are totally unrealistic. For example "cities and suburbs merge into giant metropolises" is laughable. -- RF
Chicago PD Believes It Can See The Future, Starts Warning Citizens About Crimes They Might Commit
Kerry decries 'new isolationism', says U.S. acts like poor nation
L.A. man loses U.S. Supreme Court case involving warrantless search
Federal Reserve Balance Sheet Now Hits $4.16 Trillion

And finally...
Last orders at restaurant that invented tiramisu
Fluffy Fighting! The official pillow of the Japan Pillow Fighting Association debuts
Chinese couple braves toxic smog for wedding photos, look like something out of a horror movie




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