Sunday, March 30, 2014


News Links, March 29-31, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Dollar Hegemony Under Attack By Export-Superpowers Germany and China
Dollar reserve role secure but set to shrink: BIS
Austerity: Italy's Government Selling Its Luxury Cars
China's Monumental Ponzi: Here's How It Unravels
Argentina Cuts Utility Subsidies
Spain Misses 2013 Budget Deficit Target in Spite of Massive Tax Increases; So Much Pain for Virtually No Reward
Ukraine Shocks Population With Staggered 100% Heating Price Increase While Restricting Cash Use
'Unemployed EU citizens can be expelled'
Germany has raised the prospect of expelling EU citizens who fail to find work and have no job prospects in the country.
Gold manipulation is now so obvious it should embarrass the manipulators, Rickards says
Rescue of Rio slums shaky on failed promise of basic services
The new 'silk road', a rail link from China's factories to heart of Europe

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Changing industry batters Ontario airport
In the past five years, airlines have reduced service to small and mid-sized airports
Finnair may shed hundreds of jobs to cut losses
Finnish national carrier Finnair said Thursday that negotiations were underway with staff that could lead to the loss of 680 jobs.
Lufthansa Pilots to Stage 3-Day Strike Next Week
Qantas job cuts: Transport Workers Union threatens campaign of 'civil disobedience'

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Pentagon: No Evidence Russian Forces on Ukraine Border Are Conducting Exercises
Russia's buildup near Ukraine may reach 40,000 troops: U.S. sources
Ukraine crisis: Viktor Yanukovych party picks 'friend of Putin' in replace him
Moody's places Russia's government bond rating on review for downgrade
Russian Officials See Growing Threats From US, NATO
Why the EU can't 'isolate' Russia
Russia Foreign Ministry Announces New Sanctions against US, EU
The West and Russia: a tit for tat game
McCain Wants More Weapons Delivered to Al Qaeda Rebels; How Do Warmongers Get Elected?
Is There More to the U.S. Mission in Uganda Than Finding Kony?
Russia's Military Begins Massive Nuclear War Drill
The US is paying the cost of supporting the House of Saud as cracks begin to appear
U.S. Military Averaging More Than a Mission a Day in Africa
Documents Reveal Blinding Pace of Ops in 2013, More of the Same for 2014
Philippine supply ship evades Chinese blockade
Brazil police push into Rio de Janeiro slums
Crimean Tatars plan to declare autonomous territory in Crimea
Israel Banks on 10 More Years of US Aid
The Arctic: Where the U.S. and Russia Could Square Off Next

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Unrest hurting Libya's oil economy, Europe says
Thai protesters rally against PM ahead of Senate vote
Peaceful Indignation Turns to Violent Rage in Rajoy's Spain
Thailand's 'red shirts' gear up for a fight

## Energy/resources ##
Solar cell price rises 'putting Indian domestic content projects at risk'
The Argument For $75 Oil Should Be $95 Oil
Production costs have been much higher than a decade ago, and many oil companies simply will mothball many oil fields at $75 per barrel. Those ultradeep water wells and many of the tight shale formations on land just won't work at $75 per barrel.
Lukoil Starting New Iraq Oilfield as Output Reaches 35-Year High
Oil Rigs Extend Record as Texas Eagle Ford Drilling Rises
CNOOC Posts Sharper-Than-Expected Fall In 2013 Earnings
China's top offshore oil producer, CNOOC Ltd, posted an 11.4 percent slide in its 2013 net profit on Friday, lagging analysts' forecasts, as it struggled to deliver production growth and control costs amid weakening crude prices.
Africa Looks to Nuclear Power to Light Up Continent
German regions resist green energy reforms
Germany's shift to green energy and away from nuclear power and fossil fuels is one of Merkel's flagship policies but the cost of ballooning subsidies is threatening to undermine it. The reform is aimed at scaling back incentives.
Top Texas energy company on verge of bankruptcy
Sugar Battery With Unmatched Energy Density Created
Citigroup says the 'Age of Renewables' has begun
Iran remains Pakistan's only hope for gas supply
Mexico Plans A Mix Of Areas For First International Oil Tender
Water rationing will continue for at least one month, agency says (Costa Rica)

## Got food? ##
West Africa: Is West Africa About to Experience Another Famine?
Farmers Weigh in on Skyrocketing Food Prices
Vertical farms sprouting all over the world
I thought scientists had more sense than this. -- RF
Climate change 'already affecting food supply' – UN
Another round of food stamp cuts in states
A fresh round of food stamp cuts at the state level are underway, on top of federal food stamp reductions that hit millions of Americans twice since November. In some states, policymakers have imposed additional cuts that jeopardize benefits for hundreds of thousands.
Meat prices hit record high as grilling season set to begin

## Environment/health ##
On Ravaged Tar Sands Lands, Big Challenges for Reclamation
The mining of Canada's tar sands has destroyed large areas of sensitive wetlands in Alberta. Oil sands companies have vowed to reclaim this land, but little restoration has occurred so far and many scientists say it is virtually impossible to rebuild these complex ecosystems.
Even limited nuclear war would devastate the Earth
Cat to human TB link was confirmed almost six months ago
Death toll still rising in West African Ebola outbreak
Bees and the crops they pollinate are at risk from climate change, IPCC report to warn
UN science report: Warming worsens security woes
In an authoritative report due out Monday a United Nations climate panel for the first time is connecting hotter global temperatures to hotter global tempers.

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Journalists, media under attack from hackers: Google researchers
Twenty-one of the world's top-25 news organizations have been the target of likely state-sponsored hacking attacks, according to research by two Google security engineers.
Alarm Over The 'Gold Rush' For Citizens' Big Data
Gone In 60 Seconds? Easy To Hack Into A Tesla, Security Expert Says
China says hacking attacks soar in 2013, U.S. partly to blame
American farmers confront 'big data' revolution
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev: Lawyers say older brother was asked to be FBI informant
CIA terminates public access to its translations of foreign news reports
Cable News Loses 11% of Prime-Time Audience in 2013
2014: A Brave New Dystopian "1984" World
Der Spiegel: NSA Put Merkel on List of 122 Targeted Leaders

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Springs Eternal: Hopes against Collapse, Hopes for Consuming

## Japan ##
Fukushima worker killed in accident, cleanup halted
A worker at Japan's wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant died on Friday after being buried under gravel while digging a ditch, prompting the operator to suspend cleanup work for safety checks.
Land ministry: 62% of Japan will be uninhabited by 2050
This is the best thing that could happen — to any country. A substantially lower population and downsized economy would put Japan within reach of sustainability and enable the ecosystem to begin recovering from over-exploitation. Brain-dead growth advocates will of course be pulling out their hair over this. -- RF
Japan to limit collective self-defense to its territory, high seas
Japan Is Taxing Itself Into Trouble
Shikoku, Chugoku electric utilities mull scrapping N-reactors
Japan March manufacturing PMI slows for second month, snowstorms blamed

## China ##
China May Give 'Teapot' Oil Refineries More Crude Import Quotas
Debt Rattle Mar 28 2014: The China Clock Goes Tick Tock
China Southern Airlines profit down 24%
China Southern Airlines, the country's biggest airline by fleet size, says net profit for 2013 has fallen more than 20 per cent, the latest Chinese carrier to be hit by a weak economy and stiff competition.
Guten Tag: Chinese Investors Set Their Sights on Germany
6 national strategic special zones named
Utility rates to reach record highs in May
All 10 major power utilities and four major gas firms say they plan to raise rates to new records in May to reflect the consumption tax hike and high fuel prices.
China seizes $14.5 billion assets from family, associates of ex-security chief - sources
China Officials Fibbed To Depositors To Stop Bank Runs
China Accelerates Bad Debt Writeoffs; Reflections on "Policies to Counter Economic Volatility"
Baoshan Steel Full-Year Profit Falls 42% to Lowest Since 2009

## UK ##
Cash-strapped BBC scraps £15,000 portraits of director generals

## US ##
The Golden Era of the 1950s/60s Was an Anomaly, Not the Default Setting
Military police seize cameras, detain reporters
The New York Times Covers "Oligarch Welfare" – Tax Breaks for Private Planes, Yachts and More…
Condoleezza Rice: U.S. can't afford to be war-weary
Former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice says that American leaders need to resist the temptation to become weary of war, according to a report of her remarks at a fundraiser.
Yes, remember that the Empire has "constabulary duties." -- RF
US Government Is Unaffordable and Unsustainable
China Will Dominate the World. Americans Need to Get Ready, Fed Official Says
36% Of American Workers Have Savings Of Less Than $1,000
Can the young Atlas support the heavy burden of an aging population? 58 million Americans currently receiving Social Security Benefits.
How Student Loans Are A Big Drag On The Economy
We're in a private debt crisis that could lead to the next economic collapse
The U.S. is in the midst of a private debt crisis. As of March 2014, American consumers owe $11.52 trillion in debt, an increase of 1.6% from last year. The average household owes $7,115 on their credit cards and the average indebted household owes $15,252. Americans owe $8.05 trillion in mortgages (the average mortgage debt being $152,209) and $1.08 trillion in student loan debt. When combined with corporate debts the U.S. collectively owes about $28 trillion in private debt.
Vulnerable workers plan to work forever
Best Buy Back In Deep Trouble
$28.25: the minimum wage D.C. would need to support a modest 2-bedroom
Hit A Pothole? It's Gonna Cost You - One Way Or Another
4 Shocking Examples of Police Militarization in America's Small Towns
Feds Accuse Man Of Plotting To Blow Up Government Buildings And Rob Armored Cars
Silver Eagle Sales Hit New Record In March & Large Comex Silver Withdrawal
The US Is #1 (In Global Income Inequality)
Weapons Spending Inches Upward
America's democracy is fit for the 1 per cent

And finally...
Man pretends to be mayor and fools town

Saturday, March 29, 2014


News Links, March 27-28, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Container industry bankruptcy risk rises again: AlixPartners
The risk of financial distress, including possible bankruptcy, is at its highest level in the container industry since 2010.
What the Spike in the Gold-to-Copper Ratio Tells Us
Dr. Copper is waving a red flag
European Central Bank now considering even negative interest rates
IMF to help Ukraine with up to $18 billion bailout
IMF to Ukraine: We'll Give You Money If You Give Us Austerity
Ukraine "On Verge of Financial Bankruptcy" Reaches $27 Billion "Kamikaze" Deal With IMF (Mish)
As with Greece, this bailout deal will not help Ukraine much. Of course, the goal is not really to help the country receiving the alleged "aid", but rather to help creditors get their money back, regardless of how much the aid recipient suffers in the process.
Thai economy remains in pain as uncertainty reigns
Thailand is on the brink of renewed turmoil after a court annulled the results of last month's general election. This means the nation's already battered economy may be in for additional blows.
Slump in infrastructure, corporate investment hit India's growth, says IMF
Russia to create national payment system to rival Visa, Mastercard
Russia is considering launching its own payment system in response Visa and Mastercard's recent blocking of the bank card operations of several US-sanctioned Russian banks. Russian officials are debating whether to base it on Sberbank's PRO100 or to cooperate with the Chinese UniPAY.
World Cup 2014: Another Day, Another Brazilian Stadium In Jeopardy
Nakheel reveals plans for two more malls in Dubai
Work on Saudi's 1km Kingdom Tower to start April
Global manufacturing indices soften, led by Chinese slowdown
Wall Street drops on Russia worry as techs, materials drag
Iraq Buys Massive 36 Tonnes Of Gold In March
Russia Raises Gold Holdings By 7.247 Tonnes To Over 1,040 Tonnes In February
Bring Out Your "Toxic Sludge" - European Loan Creation Remains At Record Low Levels

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Ryanair seeks more love, less hate from customers
Weird airlines fees fliers are willing to pay
Virgin America reports first profitable year since its creation
Would you pay to cut in line for the toilets on a flight?
Airline Seats: Trapped in the Middle
What's worse than a cramped economy seat with limited leg room and a seat reclined onto your dinner tray? Airplane manufacturer Airbus has come up with an answer: jam an 11th seat into economy-class rows of the A380, the world's largest passenger jet, for a 3-5-3 seat configuration.
JAL to raise domestic summer airfares
Japan Airlines has announced it will raise airfares for its domestic flights from July 4 to Oct. 25 due to surging fuel prices and the weakened yen.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Russian military holds exercises in breakaway Moldova region: agency
Russia takes over Crimean combat dolphins
Showdown in Ukraine: Putin's Quest for Ports, Oil, Pipelines and Gas
The West and in particular the United States seems to be suffering from collective memory disorder and have forgotten all the mud they slapped onto Putin's face during the past 15 or so years. Or at least they expected him to forget and forgive.
Germany's Siemens says committed to Russian partners
Putin's BRICS allies reject sanctions, condemn West's 'hostile language'
Anger, Disbelief as Obama Defends US Invasion of Iraq
'In order to not appear hypocritical, Obama rewrites history around Iraq War while denouncing Russia'
U.S. Gives Russia Free Military Equipment Used By Army, Marines
Egypt Targets 1200 Morsi Supporters With Death Penalty
North Korea test-fires ballistic missiles as Barack Obama holds Japan-South Korea summit
US to commit more forces to NATO efforts in Eastern Europe
German Industry Goes To See Uncle Putin
Pakistan Taliban agrees to ceasefire to help Afghan allies
Here Is The YouTube "Start A False Flag War With Syria" Leaked Recording That Erdogan Wanted Banned
Philippines and Muslim rebel group sign peace deal
Polling Centers Attacked in Iraq; 39 Killed, 74 Wounded

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Brazil shopping malls become centers of controversy

## Energy/resources ##
HR Constraint Contributes to High Oil, Gas Development Cost
Human resource constraint is one factor contributing to higher cost structure in developing oil and gas projects globally, a senior company official from Halliburton said Wednesday at the Offshore Technology Conference Asia 2014 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Big oil firms crack the whip over service companies
On a mission to crush costs, global oil firms are rewriting the rule book on how they deal with service companies. Energy companies have sharply cut spending plans after a decade of double-digit growth, saving cash for dividends as stagnating oil prices and cost increase on mega projects worldwide have squeezed margins and angered shareholders.
Germany's $2.8 Billion Electricity Link With Norway Threatened
Talks between Germany and Norway about how to boost the trading of electricity from renewable sources are being held up by concerns that the power cable running under the North Sea won't ever make money.
Ukraine to hike domestic gas prices by 50%
Ukraine is raising the price of gas for domestic consumers by more than 50 per cent from May 1 and will implement further rises under a fixed timetable until 2018, an official of state energy company Naftogaz said on Wednesday.
Ukraine Crisis Highlights Ugly Global Energy Truths
Ukraine, a semi-failed state due to energy debt and corruption, merely illustrates the new energy politics now unsettling governments from the United States to Crimea. It represents our collective global future, should governments and citizens continue to ignore energy flows and budgets.
Romania caps green energy quota to help large industrial firms
Romania's government capped the amount of renewable energy that large industrial consumers must buy this year in a move to help offset their high energy costs and stave off the threat of job cuts ahead of elections later this year.
WTO: China's caps on export of rare earth elements in violation of rules
Lithuania pleads to US Senate for Gas Exports, Complains of "Political Price" of Dependency on Russia
Energy-starved Egypt looks to Israel for natural gas options
Export Stupidity
On a net basis, the US has no oil or gas to export.
Nations around the world jostle to carve up Antarctic resources
Energy expert warns of oil supply disruptions
Kashagan Group Says No Oil Restart Date Yet, Probe Results Delayed

## Got food? ##
The Real Inflation Fear - US Food Prices Are Up 19% In 2014
Corn, soybeans look to extend gains as weather threatens planting season
More drug makers agree to limit antibiotics for farm animals
Chinese Pigs Eating Soybeans Cut U.S. Supply to 1965 Low
Disease that helped cause lime shortage in Mexico could come to California
Small American Farms Struggling to Survive

## Environment/health ##
Extracting carbon from nature can aid climate but will be costly-UN
China says polluting industry still growing too fast, heavy smog alert for Beijing
Air Pollution Replaces Poor Diet As World's Largest Preventable Health Risk
BP Spill at Tar Sands Refinery Has 'Crapped Up Lake Michigan'
One in 25 U.S. patients gets an infection in the hospital
Scientists hail synthetic chromosome advance
Japan keeps guard on outbreak of dengue fever

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Are You Ready for Life Under Total Surveillance?
Tweets are mysteriously disappearing from Twitter
Brazil orders Israeli drone for World Cup security missions
Russian officials dump iPads over spy fears
Moscow — Russian government officials have swapped their iPads for Samsung tablets to ensure tighter security, the telecoms minister told news agencies on Wednesday.
When gov't spies fake your company's website, what can be done?
The Off-The-Shelf Surveillance State, even in Impoverished Ethiopia
DOJ Describes Its Use Of Malware As 'Augmenting Content' As It Pushes For Great Ability To Hack Computers

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Globalization in Reverse
This does not, however, discuss the much-increased expense of energy, which is the main factor. -- RF
How Sustainable is Digital Fabrication?
While CNC machines have been embraced by many, including some environmentalists who say the technology can be more sustainable, it's important to consider the very high energy use of digital machine tools. Compared to the earlier generation of human-controlled machine tools, CNC machines use much more power, and the potential to improve their energy efficiency is very limited. Choosing fewer automated technologies is the key to sustainable manufacturing.
Does Our System Select for Incompetent Sociopaths?
Peak civilization: how the Roman empire collapsed

## Japan ##
Pension cut mechanism to be applied in FY15
The government is planning to apply in fiscal 2015 the so-called macroeconomic slide mechanism to cut pension benefits in accordance with a rise in average life expectancy and a shrinking working population to pay premiums.
Imminent sales tax hike sparks gold rush in Japan
1,500 valves at the crippled Fukushima plant remain untagged
Government team keeps high radiation data on three Fukushima municipalities from the public
142 workers' radiation exposure higher than reported by Tepco
Illegal online access doubled in 2013, Net banks targeted: police
Households to pay 225 yen monthly surcharge for renewable energy
Sendai to be only nuke plant to undergo NRA screening before summer
Utilities eye more non-nuclear power output
Japan's ruling party calls for more foreign workers to boost labor force

## China ##
China's Hangzhou latest city to restrict car sales
Banks in Chinese city show stacks of cash to reassure depositors
Rural banks in China's eastern city of Yancheng stacked piles of cash in plain view behind teller windows to calm depositors queuing at bank branches for a third straight day on Wednesday following rumors that they had run out of cash.
Spooked by defaults, China banks begin retreat from risk
A $6.8 Trillion Price Tag for China's Urbanization
China has finally put a price tag on its massive plan for urbanization, and it's a big one. The cost of bringing an additional couple of hundred million people to cities over the next seven years? Some 42 trillion yuan ($6.8 trillion), announced an official from China's Ministry of Finance last week.
Zhejiang Xingrun's collapse highlights property sector risk
Overseas bases would help PLA with 'rescue ops,' says Global Times
China's Developers Face Shakeout as Easy Money Ends: Mortgages

## UK ##
The Guardian's Deputy Editor Claims the UK Government Threatened the Paper with Shutdown
Why the British Breakfast Is Breaking the Bank (video)
Cuts have left 250,000 older people without state care, report says
A quarter of a million older people have lost their state-funded help with carrying out everyday activities such as bathing, dressing and eating in the past four years as council budgets have been slashed and services rationed, according to a report released on Wednesday.
Tenants paying high rents have to cut back on food and heating, poll reveals
Pace of recovery in Britain slows to eight-month low, CBI figures show
Rubbish on British beaches reached highest levels in two decades in 2013
Brazil nuclear plant maintenance adds to energy crunch

## US ##
A First Look at a New Report on Crony Capitalism – Trillions in Corporate Welfare
Citi Fails Fed Stress Test … The REAL Story
Paul "Contrafactual" Krugman: The Laureate of Keynesian Babble (David Stockman)
Walmart Admits: 'Our Profits' Depend on 'Their Poverty'
Walgreens to shutter 76 unprofitable locations
This Economist Foresees 15 Years of Labor Shortages
U.S. jobs market dropouts increasingly likely to stay out
Mumps outbreak spreads beyond Ohio State campus to at least 69 cases
More students are homeless across Tri-Cities
Every day, roughly 800 students right here in the Tri-Cities don't go home after school. They don't have a place to go. Whether they ran away or their parents are homeless, the number of homeless in our schools continues to grow.
First Amendment Train Wreck in the Making: U.S. Senate Tries to Define Who Is a Journalist
Sales of new homes fall to five-month low
Drive an SUV? Get ready to pay more to park
Energy Future Trying To Reach Debt-Restructuring Deal
Santa Monica launches effort to shut down all or part of city airport
Levi Strauss eliminating 800 jobs to cut costs
Is College A Waste Of Time And Money?
Senator Warns Of A Student Loan Bubble
$1 trillion student loan debt widens US wealth gap
Duration Risk: Why "Tapering" Is a Mirage and the Fed May Be Loosening Instead

And finally...
Suspected burglar arrested after giving his number to employee prior to robbing restaurant
Kim Jong-Un haircut simulator lets you try before you trim

Tuesday, March 25, 2014


News Links, March 26, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Germany's Bundesbank opens door to QE in Europe
Ukraine's Hryvnia Down 10 of Last 11 Days, Nearly Back to All-Time Low vs. US Dollar; Default Back in Play?
US now spending 26% of available tax revenue just to pay interest
Korea Exchange Launches Spot Gold Market
Australia's luck runs out as China slows
Reasons to be bearish on currency and country grow daily
Aussies home ownership now a pipedream
Brazil World Cup city 'may drop out'

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Airline Baggage Fees Deemed Too Drastic, Forces Travellers To Get Creative
Manston Airport could close as losses mount
Departing Lufthansa chief warns of threat posed by Gulf airlines
Struggling, Malaysian Airline may need government bailout

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
US, allies seek to isolate Russia; Moscow shrugs
Russian Oil Seen Heading East Not West in Crimea Spat
The Crimean crisis is poised to reshape the politics of oil by accelerating Russia's drive to send more barrels to China, leaving Europe with pricier imports and boosting U.S. dependence on fuel from the Middle East.
Offshore Security Drives Gulf Naval Procurements
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are increasing security around their offshore oil infrastructure, due to an array of threats from sea-based dangers.
Kremlin partnership places BP at risk in Russia crisis
Ukraine defense chief resigns; most soldiers in Crimea expected to switch to Russia

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Relatives of Flight 370 victims protest in China
Global Unrest Does Affect U.S. Manufacturing

## Energy/resources ##
Brazil scrambles to avoid power rationing as costs soar
Oil Rigs Hit Highest Level in Decades
The number of oil rigs in operation hit a multi-decade high as productivity plateaus. The oil industry added 12 more rigs according to the most recent data from Baker Hughes, totaling 1,473 active rigs looking for oil. That is the highest level since Baker Hughes separated out rig counts for oil and natural gas in 1987... More recently however, productivity gains have slowed in the Eagle Ford, the Marcellus, and elsewhere. With drillers beginning to run up against the limits of efficiency gains, they will need to add more rigs if they want to lift production.
S&P cuts Petrobras, Eletrobas credit ratings to BBB-
S.Korea's 2014 gas demand to reach just below 41 mln T LNG -KOGAS CEO
South Korea takes on more Iranian crude
The South Korean government said Tuesday its February imports of Iranian oil more than doubled year-on-year to 8.1 million barrels.
ONGC, Russia's Rosneft may join forces on oil flows
Rosneft (ROSN.MM), the world's top listed oil producer by output, may join forces with Indian state-run Oil and Natural Gas Corp (ONGC.NS) to supply oil to India over the long term, the Russian state-controlled company said on Tuesday.
With Drop in Seasonal Rainfall, TCN Rations 3,400MW of Electricity (Nigeria)
Power reserve sought for Mindanao
NL Hydro Taking Steps to Avoid Repeating Blackout 2014
Miners Brave Congo's Warlord History as Demand for Tin Soars
Lithuania pleads for US gas exports to counter Russia
Shell Nigeria calls "force majeure" for exports
Asia needs all the gas it can get, Chevron says
Is shale running short on 'PowerBars'?
Oil and gas majors now cutting back in U.S. shale gas fields
US energy boom demands $641B in infrastructure, study finds
Libyan Oil Output Plunges to Six-Month Low as Elephant Halted
Transferable Skills Are A Must in Oil, Gas Industry's Labor Shortages

## Got food? ##
Meat Eaters Gulp Record Prices Before U.S. Grilling Peaks
Oxfam report: Climate change could prolong world hunger for decades
Brazil drought brews trouble for coffee farms
Pricier beef 'here to stay' as food costs seen higher: USDA
Record high beef prices due to nationwide cattle shortage

## Environment/health ##
EU predicts 'waste tsunami' if world fails to cut down trash
Record Cold Winter Wallops Already Struggling Bees
Canadian man in hospital with Ebola-like virus
Puppies on pot a growing hazard
Air pollution killed seven million people in 2012: WHO
E-cigarettes spawn poison sold by the barrel: Liquid nicotine
A dangerous new form of a powerful stimulant is hitting markets nationwide in the United States, for sale by the vial, the gallon and even the barrel.
World's 18 Most Water-Stressed Rivers
Scientists Gather to Finalize Dire Warning for Planet's Climate Future
The best reason to protect bats isn't environmental — it's economic

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Barack Obama 'to propose ending NSA's systematic sweep of phone records'
Editor in Asia Leaves Bloomberg News Citing Censorship
How to keep companies from tracking you online — for good

## Japan ##
Total Abenomics Fail Slams Japan Where It Hurts Most
Fukushima fishermen approve plan to release groundwater from plant
Radioactive Water Buildup Grows as 'Decontamination' System at Fukushima Fails Again
Japan lifts offshore wind tariff, cuts solar prices
Snowstorm payments to reach ¥100 billion
Djibouti may be used as hub for peacekeeping operations

## China ##
Hundreds rush to rural Chinese banks after solvency rumours
China Urbanization Loses Momentum as Growth Concern Deepens
China Became Largest Importer of Liquid Fuels in 2013
Das Capital: Chasing the debt dragon – China finds the credit habit hard to kick
China Internet Funds Called Vampires Draw Calls for Rules
5 Reasons Why Chinese "Stimulus" Hopes Are Overdone
Fed Holding a Needle to History's Largest Bubble (Hong Kong)

## UK ##
Fracking plans spark oil and gas well warning
Royal Mail to shed 1,600 staff
Fracking safety: report warns of 'significant unknowns'
Record numbers of parents fined for letting children skip schools
Honda to cut UK jobs on weak European car demand
Europe's new nuclear experience casts a shadow over Hinkley

## US ##
The Washington/Wall Street Big Lie: Counterfeit GDP Growth, Phony Cost-Of-Living Stats
Illinois Church Told by City Officials It Can No Longer Provide Homeless People Shelter
California seniors have highest poverty rate, study finds
Poll: Most say U.S. doesn't have a responsibility in Ukraine
Most Americans don't think the U.S. is obliged to intervene in the recent annexation by Russia of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. A majority of 61 percent of Americans do not think the U.S. has a responsibility to do something about the situation between Russia and Ukraine, nearly twice as many as the 32 percent who think it does. There is widespread bipartisan agreement on this.
Americans Can't Retire When Bill Gross Sees Repression
Customs and Border Protection towers not just on the border
IRS Says Bitcoin Is Property, Not Currency
U.S. Navy receives third Joint High Speed Vessel
Five States Where Renters Can't Afford to Live
Congress reacts to spate of killings by Border Patrol agents

Monday, March 24, 2014


News Links, March 25, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Korea may follow Greek path
Debts at households, the government and businesses snowballed to 3.78 quadrillion won ($3.51 trillion) in 2013, almost three times the nation's gross domestic product (GDP).
China Manufacturing Gauge Falls as Slowdown Deepens
Silver Vault for 600 Tons Starting in Singapore on Demand
Guess which precious metal is controlled by the Russians…
But given what's happening in Russia, prices could soar. In fact, with trade sanctions looming, palladium could be taken off the world market indefinitely.
Which Country Is Europe's Biggest Narco State? Cocaine rules the world!
German customs seizes cocaine addressed to Vatican
World's 300 richest gain $25.6 billion in past week
Brazil Credit Rating Downgraded by Standard & Poor's

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Crackdown on oversized carry-on bags backed by many fliers
Airlines lowered fares but not enough to offset bag fees, study says
Road Warriors protest airline change fees

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Putin ally suggests US sanctions on his bank have backfired
An ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin who heads a bank that was hit by U.S. sanctions over the Crimea crisis suggested on Sunday the move had backfired by helping him win new clients.
Russia Returns Favor, Sees Chinese Yuan As World Reserve Currency
Following China's unwillingness to vote against Russia at the UN and yesterday's news that China will sue Ukraine for $3bn loan repayment, it seems Russia is returning the favor. Speaking at the Chinese Economic Development Forum, ITAR-TASS reports, the Chief Economist of Russia's largest bank stated that "China's Yuan may become the third reserve currency in the in the future."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Executive Yuan protesters dispersed with water cannons
Russia aims to end Crimea's reliance on Ukraine for electricity
Moscow plans to end Crimea's reliance on Ukraine for electricity by helping to build gas-fired power stations and possibly linking the region to Russia's grid, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Monday.

Food costs increase as farmers pay more for water

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
We're turning lives into commodities owned and sold by men in suits
We're trading personal information in return for convenience, cash and self-validation

## Environment/health ##
Study: Macondo oil hurt tuna hearts
Crude oil released during the Macondo disaster of 2010 damaged the developing hearts of untold numbers of spawning tuna and other commercial fish, a new study has found, underscoring the potential long-term effects of the devastating spill.
As many as 32,000 kids infected with drug-resistant TB: report
Why Grow an Herb Garden?
Grow an herb garden and reap the benefits proven by recent herbal research to be effective in treating a number of common ailments.

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Turkey Tightens Twitter Blackout

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Are Nation States Beginning to Splinter?
Venice just held a 'non-binding' referendum on whether the city should once again become an independent city-state and secede from Italy. An astonishing 89% voted 'yes' (which makes the outcome of the Crimea referendum no longer look 'strangely one-sided'). This happens just as Scotland's vote whether to remain part of the UK is approaching and Catalonia is preparing to vote whether to remain with Spain.

## Japan ##

## China ##
China factory activity contracts further in March: HSBC flash PMI
Over a lunch prepared by his personal chef of mussels with lobster jelly, wild salmon with carrot-and-caviar puree and lamb wrapped with Parma ham, Pan describes the lifestyle he's packaging for China's elite, based on fast horses, haute cuisine and fine wine.

## UK ##
Walmart cites cuts to food stamps and public assistance as 'risk factors' in annual report
Public pensions are eating taxpayers alive
Around the country governments are facing a tidal wave of pension obligations that they haven't figured out how to pay for. By some estimates, the states' long-term unfunded pension liabilities add up to more than $4 trillion. There is no way to meet such a staggering financial burden without sacrificing more and more of the basic services — public safety, education, roads, and infrastructure — that governments are formed to provide.

Sunday, March 23, 2014


News Links, March 23-24, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Korea Exchange Seeks Cut of $3 Billion Illegal Gold Trade
South Korea's equity exchange will start offering physical gold trades for the first time today, as the government seeks to curb as much as $3 billion of black-market transactions.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Nile River Dam Threatens War Between Egypt and Ethiopia
Russian Troops Seize Last Ukrainian Airbase in Crimea
Despite orders to withdraw from the peninsula yesterday, two Ukrainian military bases remained holdouts into the weekend in Crimea, the Belbek Airbase at Sevastopol and the naval base at Novofederovka. It didn't last.
Arab League to reject Israel as Jewish state
Turkey shoots down Syrian plane it says violated air space
History of CIA torture after 9/11 must be confronted or risks being repeated
Ukraine police find 42 kg of gold in home of ex-energy minister
Ukraine fiasco marks end of the EU's imperial dream
Normally when a country's people give a referendum vote that the EU doesn't like, they are just told to vote again to put it right. In the case of Crimea, however, where 96 per cent of the people voted to return to Russia, the EU was in no position to ask them to think again.
Why US sanctions could play into Putin's hand
NATO commander warns of Russian threat to separatist Moldova region
Putin Playing Chess (Hilarious Picture, Russian Point of View)

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Spain 'Marches for Dignity': Massive March Against Austerity
Spain austerity: Huge Madrid protest turns violent
Venezuela protest death toll rises to 33
Taiwan Police Evict Protesters from Cabinet Building
Protesting students break into Executive Yuan
Israeli embassies shut doors as diplomats go on strike
Protesters in Chile keep heat on Bachelet to make good on reforms

## Energy/resources ##
Why The U.S. Utility Solar Market Is Slowing Down

## Got food? ##
Top Organic Vegetable Gardening Challenges and How to Overcome Them
Low price supports may be souring Pakistani farmers on wheat
Farming in America: 'There's a growing discontent'
"There's a growing discontent among the farming community," said John Kempf, a fruit and vegetable farmer in northeast Ohio. "We have a farming model now that is antagonistic to the enjoyment of watching seeds grow and seeing a new born animal."
LED plant factories offer efficient 3D alternative to traditional gardening
Looks great... until the power goes off or you run out of nutrient solution. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Indonesian forest fires feed 'brown cloud' of pollution choking Asia's cities
Guinea Says 59 People Have Died In Ebola Outbreak
Scores of ships trapped by Texas oil spill
U.N. scientists to deliver grim report on climate at Yokohama conference
25 years later, Exxon Valdez oil spill still clings to lives, habitats

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Twitter And YouTube Defy Foreign Censorship As Bloomberg Bows To It
'Stingray': Increased and Secretive Cell Phone Surveillance by Local Police Raises Alarms
Report: NSA targeted Chinese tech giant Huawei
Dirigible Drones Will Watch the World From 13 Miles Up
Jimmy Carter on NSA: "If I Send an Email, It Will Be Monitored"

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Power is nothing without control: how to lose an empire
March Madness meets 'Revolution' and economy collapses

## Japan ##
Abenomics' Failure Is the Global Canary
Global Hawk to deploy to Japan for first time
The RQ-4 Global Hawk, the massive surveillance drone once targeted for extinction and now considered by the Air Force as the answer for future intelligence needs, is expanding its reach into the Pacific this year with its first deployment to Japan.
Japan Moves to Limit Bedbound Elderly On Feeding Tubes
5 years on, MSDF still working to rid seas off Somalia of pirates
Agency to cut bluefin tuna catch by half

## China ##
Chinese Gold Demand 488 MT YTD, Up 29 %
Are China's 'ghost' cities building towards economic ruin?
China funds post record outflows

## UK ##
IMF's Property Tax Hike Proposal Comes True With UK Imposing "Mansion Tax" As Soon As This Year
'Family doctor service on brink of extinction', says new GP leader
Student loans face timebomb, says Labour
'Britain's FBI' in crisis as officers face data charges

## US ##
Commuters Ditch Cars For Public Transit In Record Numbers
Not mentioned in the article is the expense of owning and operating a car. -- RF
This Chart Is A True Picture Of the Unemployment Crisis In America
30 Survey Results That Sound False But That Are Actually True
Ten States Where People Can't Afford Food
The US is running out of welders

And finally...
Journal of Porn Studies debuts; read it for the articles

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