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

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