Tuesday, April 29, 2014


News Links, April 29-30, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Siemens to cut thousands of jobs as part of new strategy: report
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
Time to Act: Pension Funds are Drying Up
The Global Boom Falters: Asia's Big Four Exporters—China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea—Hit Skids In Q1
Berthing pains for Asia's rich put wind in the sails of marina developers
Marina developers in Southeast Asia are racing to build berths to address the latest problem vexing Asia's rapidly growing ranks of ultra-rich: insufficient parking lots for their superyachts.
A Critique of Piketty's Solution to Widening Wealth Inequality
More on neofeudalism. Dig it. -- RF
TPP Is Right Where We Want It: Going Nowhere
Labour crunch hurts Malaysian palm oil growers as Indonesians stay home
A slump in the number of Indonesian workers applying for jobs in Malaysia's palm oil sector is worsening a labour crunch that industry players say is taking a heavy toll on the export earnings of the world's second-largest grower of the edible oil.
The Elephant In The Room: Deutsche Bank's $75 Trillion In Derivatives Is 20 Times Greater Than German GDP
LEAKED: Draghi's Sudden Switcheroo On QE
Slow Motion Bust - The Long Goodbye - One-Sided Incentives
Is James Rickards Right About A Coming Monetary Apocalypse?
Jim Rickards: All Roads Lead to the IMF; SDRs to Replace Dollar as New World Currency
"Strip private banks of their power to create money": Financial Times' Martin Wolf endorses Positive Money's proposals for reform

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Norwegian Air halts talks to buy Dreamliners, may quit Ireland
Frontier Airlines Now Charging for Carry-on Bags
Air China first-quarter net profit falls 63 pct

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Blessed by US, Egypt's Assault on Human Rights in Overdrive
Mass death sentences and criminalization of opposition groups marks path back towards military dictatorship
How the US Supports Regimes That Support Terrorism
The friend of my enemy is my friend… or something like that. -- RF
AFRICOM Goes to War on the Sly
DoD quietly expanding AFRICOM missions
Corner those African resources! -- RF
US and Gulf states plan missile defence system to counter Iran
Obama Says U.S. Military Not An Option In Ukraine
Russia hit by sanctions: How Big Oil is reacting
Ukraine separatists seize second provincial capital, fire on police
Rosneft, Exxon to explore Russian arctic
Saudi Princess Sahar calls for uprising against father's regime
Daughters of Saudi King Abdullah say he is holding them hostage
War-Torn Iraq Prepares for Bloody Wednesday Election
Kerry draws fire for reported comment about 'apartheid' and Israel
Putin's oil tsar emerged from shadows to wield vast power
Ron Paul Is Right: Yemen Drone War Is Making More Terrorists, Not A Safer America
50 killed in bomb attack on rally, police and troops voting in Iraq
Debt Rattle Apr 25 2014: Is America Preparing For The Wrong War?
The West Prepares: These Are All NATO Aircraft Deployments In Response To The Ukraine Crisis
U.S. Navy orders 10 more nuclear submarines
China Slams US Over Russian Sanctions; Warns "Will Escalate Tensions"
Russia vows to hit back at Japan for denying visas to 23 people

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Demanding 'Just and Sustainable' Economy For All, Thousands March on Congress
Pro-Ukraine Demonstration in Donetsk Turns Violent
Turkish protesters express outrage at Egyptian death sentences

## Energy/resources ##
Asian coal miners pursuing self-defeating output gains
Coal Increasingly Seen As Option For European Energy Security
Fracking regulation: Is This Issue About to Explode for Big Oil?
Iran, Russia discuss electricity deals
Kerosene made from CO2 and water
Nothing said about the energy balance of the process. All the technological hocus-pocus in the world won't save industrial civilization without a high energy return. -- RF
Kashagan oil restart not expected this year
Output at Kazakhstan's huge Kashagan oilfield is not expected to restart this year after an investigation revealed that long stretches of oil and gas pipelines may need to be fully replaced, the project consortium said on Monday.
China wants stable partnership with Brazil for oil and natural gas projects
UAE Grants China Right To Develop Abu Dhabi Oil Fields
UK and Ireland fire ice gas reserves 'would be difficult to exploit'
Putin says Russia may reconsider Western participation in energy projects
U.S. probes waves as source of energy
Exxon's $900 Billion Arctic Prize at Risk After Ukraine
Biggest LBO Ends in Bankruptcy as Energy Future Files; Ranks With Enron's Collapse
Japan, France to work together on next-generation reactors
Nuclear renaissance: U.S. expects about 10 pct of nuclear capacity to shut by 2020
BP warns on oil output as profit falls
Large part of Kenya hit by power grid failure
Pakistan cuts prime minister's electricity for not paying bills
UP-NCR power crisis to worsen

## Got food? ##
Epidemic Of Hunger: New Report Says 49 Million Americans Are Dealing With Food Insecurity
Vermont Becomes the First State in the U.S. to Require GMO Labeling – Why This is a Very Big Deal
Possible Food Poisoning Sickens 100 at Food Safety Summit
Exclusive: War-ravaged Syria may face worst wheat harvest in 40 years
More Moola for Your Next Gallon of Milk
Firms entering vegetable factory business (Japan)

## Environment/health ##
Saudi Arabia: eight more deaths due to MERS
EU should halve meat, dairy consumption to cut nitrogen-report
Brazil Greenlights Plan to Unleash Genetically Modified Mosquitoes
Report card for U.S. youth physical activity: Poor

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Hacker "Weev" is Released from Prison, Starts Hedge Fund Called TRO LLC, Appears on CNBC
You've Got Hacked: AOL Confirms 'Significant Number' of Mail Users Hit
Suspicious Deaths of Bankers Are Now Classified as "Trade Secrets" by Federal Regulator
The White House Wants to Issue You an Online ID

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Detroit Homeowners Gun Down Burglars as Police Wait for Cars
Why Popping the Credit Bubble Would Destroy the US Empire

## Japan ##
Photographer says Fukushima disaster worse than East Timor, Somalia conflicts
Survey: Half of Fukushima evacuee households split up; distress rife in families
Nearly half of households that evacuated following the Fukushima nuclear disaster have been split up while close to 70 percent have family members suffering from physical and mental distress, a survey showed.
Report from Fukushima: lots of cleanup to do, not enough workers to do it
Japanese Manufacturing PMI Collapses At Fastest Pace On Record; Drops To 14 Month Lows
Tokyo-area blackout affects 300,000 households, stops trains
Japan's shrinking society 2 / Companies must transform as population shrinks
Finance to set up JGB division dedicated to overseas sales
The Finance Ministry will launch a division in July dedicated to promoting sales of Japanese government bonds overseas because the amount of outstanding bonds is building, ministry officials said Tuesday.
Some Economists See Bank of Japan Holding Fire All Year
Ahead of secrets law, information concealed on nuclear facilities

## China ##
In wealthy Chinese city, debt guarantees spark default contagion
China's Hebei Reports Growth Slump on Capacity, Pollution Curbs
'Chain reaction' default risk looms in China - Credit Suisse
China labor activist held over online "disturbance"
China's Income Inequality Surpasses U.S., Posing Risk for Xi

## UK ##
Long-term jobless to have to scrub war memorials and historic monuments
Long-term unemployed people will have to clean war memorials, restore historic monuments and look after animals at city farms to keep their benefits from today.
Is London's Property Bubble Set To Burst? (PDF)
UK economy grows by 0.8% in first quarter
Britain faces bricks shortage, builders warn

## US ##
About that recovery: Low-Wage Jobs Crowding Out Fatter Paychecks
The Real Unemployment Rate: In 20% Of American Families, EVERYONE Is Unemployed
America's Nine Classes: The New Class Hierarchy
Whether you agree or not, this is a good read and an interesting way of classifying people under America's quickly developing neofeudal system. -- RF
Fed fueling century's 'greatest bubble': Stockman
In NYC, a $185M tunnel that leads nowhere, for now
The 800-foot-long, 35-foot-deep concrete trench could someday lead to two new commuter rail tunnels under the Hudson River to New Jersey, if the billions needed to build them ever materialize.
Report: 4 in 5 US high school students graduate
Fed taper to cause 'severe recession': Economist
Driver Finds Himself Surrounded By Cops With Guns Out After Automatic License Plate Reader Misreads His Plate
Obama Asks for $302 Billion to Fix Bridges and Potholes
Rents Soar To Record High As Homeownership Rate Plunges To 19 Year Low
Hey, what happened to the "ownership society"? -- RF

Sunday, April 27, 2014


News Links, April 26-28, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Meltdown America: Chinese-Russian Attack on the Dollar
PBOC Pressures USD Hegemony; Starts Yuan-Denominated Gold & Oil Trading
EIA: Oil declines hurting Mexico
Mexico's fiscal health is in jeopardy because of a declining rate of oil production, an analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.
Banks return to risky business: lax standards and subprime loans
Liars, Damned Liars, and Spanish Banks
Number of New Mortgage Loans in Spain Down 33% From Year Ago
The Sound Of BRICs Breaking: Brazil CapEx To Contract 10% This Year
The Canadian Housing Bubble Puts Even The US To Shame
Puerto Rico poised as 'Singapore of the Caribbean'
U.S. Exports A Record Amount Of Gold To Hong Kong In January
China Takes Steps To Further Conceal Gold Holdings
Is There a Massive High Yield Credit Bubble?
Peter Schiff: Reckless Fed may push gold to $5,000

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Airline Fees gone wild
The Transparent Airfares Act, hiding the true cost of your flight
Jet, SpiceJet to post record losses; AI may see improved result
United Continental Posts Wider Loss As Revenue Weakens
JetBlue May Begin Charging for the First Checked Bag Next Year
Delayed flights may cost airlines billions after test case rulings
Air cargo: Not pulling its weight
Air Berlin asks shareholders for cash after 2013 loss
Peach Aviation cancels some flights for summer due to shortage of flight crew
Malaysian Air Breakup Case Grows After Lost Jet: Real M&A

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
"Manufactured Crisis" By Gareth Porter: Must Read Refutation Of The War Party's Lies About Iran's Nukes
Behind The Gong Show In Kiev: Washington's Delusions Of Global Hegemony
US confronts consequences of underestimating North Korean leader
Why World War III Could Start In Space
Militia Captures Ukraine Troops, OSCE Monitors in East Ukraine
Ukraine: pro-Russian forces seize TV station in Donetsk and parade captives
G-7 Nations Agree To More Sanctions On Russia
Some Western firms could face Russian retaliation
Ecuador expelling US military group at embassy
Ukraine: Russia's Gazprom issues May 7 ultimatum over gas supplies
Satellite Images Reveal Massing Of 15,000 Ukraine Troops, Hundreds Of Tanks Around Slavyansk
Bombers kill 33 at Iraq campaign rally for Shiite
The Prelude to the End of the American Era
The creation of a real non dollar bloc which can make almost anything people want, and which has access to essentially all key resources from oil to rare minerals, metals and food is an existential threat to the hegemony of the West and its allies like Japan and Korea.
US, Philippines reach deal on troops
The United States and the Philippines have reached a 10-year pact that would allow a larger U.S. military presence in this Southeast Asian nation as it grapples with increasingly tense territorial disputes with China.
Rio chaos in countdown to kick-off
Gunfights and killings in shanty towns have escalated just weeks before the World Cup begins in Brazil
U.S. troops arrive in Lithuania amid Ukraine tensions
Baltics To Hike Budgets, Pursue Permanent NATO Troop Presence
Can military's satellite links be hacked? Cyber-security firm cites concerns.
Focused effort to fight Gulf of Guinea piracy, oil theft
The Global Land Grab
Neocon Madness: "Regime Change" Again—This Time In Russia
Slovenia's government faces collapse

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Jordanians Riot After Police Kill Resident
Dozens of protesters torched three banks and a government building in the southern Jordanian city of Maan, after police killed a resident during clashes, officials and witnesses said yesterday. Some 200 anti-government protesters were involved in the riots late Wednesday, the Public Security Department said.
Indigenous protesters occupy Peru's biggest Amazon oil field
Protests in Philippines, Malaysia Ahead of Obama's Visit

## Energy/resources ##
Shale gas bust: New York state shale gas: Not so much
The stunning conclusion of the report is that at current prices--in the mid-$4 range per thousand cubic feet (mcf)--NONE of the natural gas trapped in the New York portion of the Marcellus can be profitably extracted.
Abu Dhabi edges closer to power shortage
Without the addition of generation capacity, the emirate will struggle to address growing power demand
World Cup Power Cut Fears Spur Record Brazil LNG Buying: Energy
World Cup Poses Blackout Risk to Rio de Janeiro's Galeao Airport
Power Blackout Imminent as NLC Vows to Shut Down 8 DISCOs (Nigeria)
Newfoundland faces 'unacceptably high risk' of future blackouts
Lack of generation capacity, equipment upkeep and training were factors as lights went out across Newfoundland last winter, says a new report flagging an "unacceptably high risk" of future blackouts.
U.S. electricity prices may be going up for good
Experts warn of a growing fragility as coal-fired plants are shut down, nuclear power is reduced and consumers switch to renewable energy.
Energy trash talk! We're bigger than solar: CEO
I would like to remind everyone that landfill gas and waste-to-energy schemes depend on the mountains of waste generated by the industrial/consumer economy. -- RF
Energy Future to file U.S. bankruptcy as soon as Monday-sources
Russia's Lukoil eyes new oil in Iraq
China Is Quietly Profiting From the Russia-Ukraine Standoff: Here's How
Much to the chagrin of the United States, China has the innate ability to negotiate major energy deals in the midst of conflict. PetroChina's  state-run parent company, China National Petroleum, or CNPC, was the first oil company to secure a contract in the Iraqi oil fields following the fall of Saddam Hussein, and today both it and CNOOC  are two of the most active oil companies there. With Russia and the West at a standstill over the recent events in Ukraine, it appears that CNPC is about to seal another energy coup.
Company Hopes To Strike It Rich By Mining Pacific Seafloor
Oil firms sweat ageing North Sea assets to stave off shutdowns
Smaller oil producers are teaming up with engineering and oil services companies in Britain's North Sea to squeeze extra drops from ageing facilities before rising costs force them to close.
Oil firms' answer to global calamity: Insurance
The crisis in Ukraine has provided a reminder of an an old story: The world is a dangerous and unstable place—and some of the most volatile places on earth are oil-producing areas where oil companies are compelled to drill.
China wants more Latin American oil, president to visit in July
China might be slowing economically but it still wants to buy more oil from Latin America and invest in infrastructure in the region, with a presidential visit planned for July, Chinese and Brazilians officials said on Friday.
NGCP prepares for blackout scenarios; sets simulation drills in April, May (Philippines)
Power shortage to be overcome in next three years, vows Nawaz (Pakistan)
Propane shortage, increased exports impacting prices: Marketers worry new spike could happen again (US)
Russia, consumer states discuss gas supply via Ukraine -report
Taiwan to halt construction of fourth nuclear power plant
Crude world prepares for Iran's new oil flow
Solar Power Is Booming, But Will Never Replace Coal. Here's Why.

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Thieves target industrial AC units

## Got food? ##
Measured by Gold and the Dow, Wheat Is Cheap (But Maybe Not For Long)
We may be tasting the first minimal increases in food prices that could soar to unimagined heights in the years ahead.
Looking At Third Year Of Water Shortage, Rice Farmers Look To Expensive Alternatives (Texas)
Killer virus spreads unchecked as pork hits record
The killer stalking U.S. hog farms is known as PEDv, a malady that in less than a year has wiped out more than 10 percent of the nation's pig population and helped send retail pork prices to record highs.
Asian Disease Forces Jumbo Price Hike for Shrimp in USA

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
European volunteers help Greek 'bailout gardens'
Volunteer gardeners from countries around Europe visited Greece's second largest city, Thessaloniki, on Sunday to help local urban planting initiatives set up help residents hit by the country's financial crisis.
Of course, this is not merely a "lifestyle solution," but a major component of our efforts to survive — and thrive — as societies transition to much lower energy levels. Don't think for a minute that this is something temporary until Greece "gets back on its feet." Greece is a bellwether we should all be watching closely.  -- RF

## Environment/health ##
North Dakota finds more radioactive oil waste
North Dakota confirmed Thursday the discovery of a new radioactive dump of waste from oil drilling, and separately a company hired to clean up waste found in February at another location said it removed double the amount of radioactive material originally estimated to be there.
Some generic drugs have had eye-popping price spikes (US)
Safety Failures Pervasive at Site of Mysterious Nuclear Leak
Haiti prepares for another cholera attack
MERS claims 94th victim; 3 specialist centers set up (KSA)
Deadly MERS virus detected in Egypt
Powerful X1.3 Solar Flare Causes Radio Blackout
Report: US Unprepared for Arctic Oil Spill
Oman's population passes 4 million mark
We're Constantly Bathed in Artificial Light -- Is it Wreaking Havoc on Our Health?
Radon: The silent killer in your home

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Why Is Blackwater Helping to Train Brazil's World Cup Security?
Suspect in USS Cole bombing was tortured, expert says
The Saudi prisoner awaiting a death-penalty trial for the USS Cole bombing was tortured physically, mentally and sexually, an expert in treating torture victims testified Thursday at the war court.
FBI "Terrorism Facilitators" At Work: Snitches, Stings And False Flags
Louisiana Creates Database of Citizens Who Represent "A Risk to the State"
Costa Rica demands answers from U.S. about 'Cuban Twitter'
Right Scrambles over Red-Hot Indictment of Inequality and Capitalism
Statists Declare War on Free Speech – College Students Banned from Handing Out Constitutions in Hawaii
Say Goodbye to "Net Neutrality" – New FCC Proposal Will Permit Discrimination of Web Content
You Love The Cloud, But It May Not Be As Secure As You Think
People are storing more and more stuff online: photos, music, personal documents — even books. The business of cloud storage is growing 30 percent a year, Forrester Research says. But if you're storing your digital belongings in the cloud, you should know you're giving up some rights.
How Pat Tillman Was Used to Promote the War that Killed Him | Brainwash Update (video)
For a detailed treatment of the Tillman saga, start reading here. -- RF
U.S. Judge Rules Search Warrants Extend to Email Stored Overseas
Homeland Security struggles to tempt, retain cyber talent
Discrimination potential seen in `big data' use
New police surveillance techniques raise privacy concerns
Des Lynam 'killed by a giant snowball' and other embarrassing Wikipedia edits from Whitehall computers
Why You Should Do More to Secure Your Smartphone

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Local officials convert paved roads to gravel as lawmakers debate funding repairs (US)
County road commissions have increasingly taken up the practice of permanently or temporarily turning paved roads into gravel in recent years to deal with issues of low funding and poor road conditions… Last year, about half of Michigan counties were forced to convert paved roads to gravel.
Nearly 2,000 leaks reported by Atlanta Gas Light, South Carolina Electric and Gas in 2012
Defence of 'blood for oil' distracts us from the deeper, systemic causes of the Crisis of Civilisation

## Japan ##
Japanese Doomsday Machine Socks It To The Middle Class (But Shorting JGBs Remains A Terrible Idea)
Diet targets dormant bank accounts
Dormant accounts are those that have seen no deposits or withdrawals for at least 10 years.
"You haven't used this account in 10 years. Therefore the money is no longer yours!" This is just plain thievery. Many people put money in an account and leave it there with plans to use it upon retiring. Expect still more Japanese to keep their savings out of the banks and stuff their mattresses instead (or as it is known in Japan, "bureau-drawer deposits"). -- RF
Why Willem Buiter believes Japan's economy is unsustainable
LDP vice president argues for allowing ship searches to help U.S.
Industrial museum offers interactive lunar mining experience

## China ##
Sweeping new Chinese laws hope to tackle mounting pollution problems
China Tightens Law on Eating Rare Animals
Top Tier Chinese Cities Discounting Property; Beijing Prices and Volume Down 11 Straight weeks
China aims to build over 7 million public homes this year
Is Someone Betting Furiously That The Chinese Currency Collapses By The End Of 2014?

## UK ##
Asda: 95% of our fresh produce is already at risk from climate change
Children as young as ten taught how to spot radicalisation
Schoolchildren as young as ten are being taught how to spot radicalisation in their friends through a police scheme using a Facebook-style website.
Ratzilla: Over 60 rats caught in Crossgar home over four years
Wikipedia edits performed on government computers extends beyond Hillsborough disaster
'Savings crisis' wrecks pensions of the under-50s
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat
EU exit could wreck UK financial capital, says City lobby group
17 arrest warrants a day on EU orders
New figures show the extent of the use of controversial European Arrest Warrants on Britain's streets
Britain STILL depends on coal for 40% of its electricity - but now it is making a Russian mine owner hugely rich, not us

## US ##
About your retirement: Social Security Is Going Broke Faster Than You Think: 12-Year Cash Deficit Is Nearly $2 Trillion
This Chart Is A True Picture of The Bank Credit Bubble In America, Now Bigger Than The Last One (Which Blew Up)
Firearms applications surge, swamp registration system
A record surge in recent firearms production and transactions have swamped the federal government's automated registration system for select weapons, including machine guns.
12 Numbers Which Prove That Americans Are Sick And Tired Of Politics As Usual
40 Veterans die of waiting, VA official responsible for secret list linked to seperate scandal
Reserve, Guard Soldiers Committing Suicide at Higher Rates
Wall Street's "Escape Velocity" Hoax
Here Comes The Chinese Flight Capital: Replace Russians As Top NYC Foreign Buyers
Some Bundy supporters back away after rant about blacks
Gasoline Prices Rise As U.S. Refineries Send More Fuel Overseas
What Lumber's Impending Trend Test Means For Housing
In One City, Columbus Day Now 'Indigenous Peoples Day'
Are You an Elitist? Class Warfare and the New Nobility
I'm not the only one who perceives the development of neofeudalism and the new aristocracy. -- RF
4 Dead, 27 Wounded in Overnight Chicago Shootings
JPMorgan Chase Bank Closes Accounts of Porn Actors
IRS Employees Gone Wild? Bonus Outrage Continues
Lyndon Baines Kerry: Another American Idealist Gone To The Warfare State's Dark Side
So Long to America's Middle Class
Homeless in the Magic Kingdom: Desperate families living in the shadow of Disney's booming service economy
America's Consumers Are Dropping, Not Shopping

And finally...
E.T.'s Home Is Found: Trove Of Atari Games Unearthed At Landfill

Thursday, April 24, 2014


News Links, April 24-25, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
French April Industry Growth Cools as New Business Stagnates
Newcrest Mining cuts 208 jobs amid cost-cutting
Newcrest Mining Ltd. said it cut hundreds of jobs in Papua New Guinea in a push toward austerity. The decision comes after the company launched a raft of cost-cutting projects across its operations last quarter.
Barclays May Cut 7,500 at Investment Bank, Bernstein Says
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
Biggest Credit Bubble in History Runs Out Of Time
U.S.-Japan squabble over beef threatens Trans-Pacific Partnership
That Atrocious Deflation Monster
Reserve Bank raises Official Cash Rate (NZ)
The Reserve Bank has raised its benchmark interest rate to 3 percent in a widely expected move that is likely to push up mortgage rates.
The CAT In The Mine Shaft: With Sales Plunging, Stock At 2-Year High
The monumental mining boom of recent years, which was stimulated by a decade of massive money printing by all of the world's central banks, is now over. Indeed, the big miners who form CAT's global customer base are in deep retrenchment, canceling mega projects right and left, thereby wiping out orders for big yellow machines almost entirely. Accordingly, CAT hit its "peak bubble" earnings many quarters ago.
Tricks and treats: Why Caterpillar Just Blew Away Earnings Expectations
The New Aristocracy: Four Seasons launches first hotel luxury jet for $130,000 world tours
The customized interior will feature leather flatbed seats, plush carpeting and contemporary lavatories. It will offer global in-flight Wi-Fi and be staffed with chefs and an onboard concierge to plan spa treatments and tee times for its 52 passengers while en route.
Been There, Done That: Largest Junk Bond Deal Ever Signals Another Bubble Top
National Bank of Greece Capital Raise Maybe Not Enough — S&P

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Budget carrier Peach to cancel 448 flights due to lack of pilots

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Pirates hijack Japanese oil tanker along Malacca Strait
Armed pirates boarded and stole the fuel cargo of the Japanese tanker Naninwa Maru 1 on Wednesday in the Malacca Strait off the coast of West Malaysia. The cargo ship was bound for Myanmar with its cargo of around 5 million liters of diesel and the pirates were able to hijack and steal over half of the fuel, transferring them to two boats waiting at the scene of the crime. Three of the Japanese cargo ship's crew members were also taken by the pirates, this according to Malaysian maritime police.
Obama: Senkaku Islands 'within scope' of US-Japan security treaty
Rep. Ron Paul's Fabulous 2008 Speech On Disbanding NATO
Ukraine crisis: John Kerry threatens Russia with more sanctions
Threat Of Tough Western Sanctions On Russia Unnerves U.S., EU Energy Firms
Ukraine Orders New Military Operation in the East
Ukraine forces kill up to five rebels, Russia starts drill near border
CIA Is Quietly Ramping Up Aid To Syrian Rebels, Sources Say
U.S. Clears Egypt For Some Military Assistance
RAF fighter jets scrambled to investigate Russian planes
Fighter jets were scrambled after two Russian military aircraft were spotted approaching UK airspace, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said.
Russia, China block Central African Republic blacklist at U.N.
Jihadists Now Control Secretive U.S. Base in Libya
In Support of Dictatorship, US to Send Egypt Military Helicopters
Canada under increasing pressure to come up with co-ordinated NATO response to Russia in Arctic
Afghan hospital guard kills 3 American doctors
Tiny Pacific nation sues 9 nuclear-armed powers
The tiny Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands is taking on the United States and the world's eight other nuclear-armed nations with an unprecedented lawsuit demanding that they meet their obligations toward disarmament and accusing them of "flagrant violations" of international law.
Blowback At Work: How Obama's Drone War Makes More Terrorists
China says it will maintain patrols near Japan's new island base
Code of Conduct on Unplanned Encounters at Sea approved by Pacific navy chiefs

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
In pictures: Violent scenes as riot police clash with protestors in Rio de Janeiro
Native Americans Hit D.C. to Protest Keystone Pipeline
'Obama Not Welcome': Filipinos Protest Presidential Visit

## Energy/resources ##
Eight Energy Myths Explained
A good read. One persistent myth is that we can seamlessly transition to renewables and dump fossil fuels. It's not just a myth, it's an outrageous fantasy. -- RF
Is the U.S. Shale Boom Going Bust?
Taipower warns of power shortages (Taiwan)
Energy minister: Drought may result in summer electricity shortages (Turkey)
Billions needed to upgrade Egypt's power grid as summer crunch looms
Egypt needs to find at least $5 billion to invest in its dilapidated power grid, a government official told Reuters, highlighting a major challenge for the next president as the country faces the risk of worsening blackouts this summer.
Kiev needs at least $3 billion for gas overhaul
More than $3 billion is needed to overhaul the Soviet-era natural gas transit network in Ukraine, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said Wednesday.
Russia, India Planning $30 Billion Oil Pipeline Through Xinjiang
Russia is changing its energy export policy vector as strong demand for hydrocarbons in both in China and in India continues to grow. The recent unease in both the U.S. and Europe over Russian President Vladimir Putin's March 17 annexation of Crimea has only added to Moscow's efforts to diversify its markets beyond Europe.
Officials Warn of Explosive Crude Rumbling Across Nation's Rails
Ukraine crisis seen speeding Gazprom deal with China
Gas prices soar to spring record, up 14 cents from last year (Canada)
Ukraine gets $11 billion gas bill from Russia
Fire continues at Wyoming natgas facility, disrupts supply -Williams
Haynesville shale gas production slumps
Canada to phase out rail tankers after 2013 Quebec blast
Major oil and gas firm to list fracking chemicals
Kashagan Field Plans Pipeline Replacement
Iran Likely to Start Gas Exports to Iraq in Next 4 Months
Total sees Russia as biggest source of its oil output by 2020
German Power Premium Shrinking on Solar Surge: Chart of the Day
Weatherford cuts over 3300 jobs
10 warnings: Big Oil stocks crash 50% by 2020

## Got food? ##
Examining the cost of food
A 'third of UK adults struggle' to afford healthy [sic] food (UK)
Cost Of "Breakfast In America" Soars To Highest In Over 2 Years
Vermont ups the ante on genetically modified foods
With Droughts and Disease Hitting Livestock Around the Globe, Animal Health Care Companies More Important Than Ever

## Environment/health ##
Family Wins Fracking Suit in Legal Blow to Industry
'Straight from the Horse's Mouth': Former Oil Exec Says Fracking Not Safe
DNA Nanobots Can Fool the Immune System by Disguising Themselves as Viruses
Study: Antibiotic-Resistant MRSA 'Superbug' Found In US Homes
Doctor's Perspective: Perils and Pitfalls of Corporatized Medicine
Study Links California Drought to Global Warming
Toxic Herbicides Now Common in Pregnant Women's Breast Milk, Placentas, and Umbilical Cords

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
James Clapper Embarks on Propaganda College Speaking Tour After Droves of Students Name Snowden "Personal Hero"
Error... Error: NYT Retracts Ukraine/Russian-Photo Scoop
After starting a propaganda stampede – with a lead story about photos of Russian troops purportedly in Ukraine – the New York Times admits the pictures really don't prove much, and one photo was labeled as snapped in Russia when it was really taken in Ukraine
Brazil Becomes One Of The First To Adopt Internet 'Bill Of Rights'
John Forbes Kerry: Secretary Of Bluster, Bombast And Babble
Meet AISight – The Artificial Intelligence Software Being Installed on CCTV Networks Globally
US proposes pay-for-priority Internet standards
Unless Defeated, New FCC Rules Will Put 'Stake in Internet's Heart'
Russia Orders Bloggers To 'Register'; Outlaws Anonymous Blogging, Continues Clampdown On Social Media
Google Glass wearers stir up trouble at the bar
Bars in San Francisco have started banning people from wearing the devices, after a series of attacks on users.
All At Sea: Global Shipping Fleet Exposed to Hacking Threat

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
This Is How Empires Collapse
What Google Autocomplete Tells Us About America
Can America Fix 63,000 Bridges?
The answer is no. -- RF

## Japan ##
Obama lands table at world's most exclusive sushi restaurant in Tokyo
$300 sushi. This is how rich elites rub elbows. -- RF
Lots of pomp but no trade deal in Obama's visit to Japan
Weak yen unable to curb ballooning trade deficit
Fukushima completes culling of radioactive herd in hot zone
Obama says bilateral security treaty applies to Senkaku Islands
Hackers barrage Panasonic website
Train companies seek out top end
Central, local governments have no takers for radioactive waste

## China ##
Tales FromThe Chinese Ponzi: An Orgy Of Borrowing, Building and Speculating Like Never Before
China carbon cash party over as U.N. credit stream dries up
China factory activity shrinks for fourth month
60% Of China's Water "Too Polluted To Drink"
Young Chinese Maoists set up hippy commune
China Court Frees Japanese Ship After Unprecedented Seizure

## UK ##
UK row over Christian values and food poverty
London's Gherkin skyscraper enters receivership

## US ##
Some Recovery! Real Core Durable Goods Trend Still 12% Below Prior Peak
CEO pay is out of line: Jesse Ventura
Fed's Wealth Effect: Richest 200 Moguls Made $13.9 Billion Today
Jeb Bush: Thinking of running in 2016
Allen West: Power plant attack a 'dry run'
Cost of Attending a Wedding Surges 75 Percent
A French economist's grim view of wealth gap
The U.S. economy has begun to decay into the aristocratic Europe of the 19th century. Hard work will matter less, inherited wealth more. The fortunes of the few will unsettle the foundations of democracy.
Neofeudalism and the New Aristocracy are staring us in the face. -- RF
Exactly Like 7 Years Ago? 2014 Is Turning Out To Be Eerily Similar To 2007
Effort afoot to dim lights at night
As much as $2.2 billion per year is wasted just in the United States on unnecessary energy costs.
Why Alaska Increasingly Resembles A Petro-State
The façade of a recovering housing market: New home sales collapse and supply of inventory finally reaches six months.
A Stunning 80% Of All New York, Florida And Nevada Condo Purchases Are "All Cash"

And finally...
3,000 types of bacteria found on U.S. $1 bills
Talk about filthy lucre! -- RF
Risqué names reap rewards for some companies ("Holy Crap" breakfast cereal, and more.)
Game That Brings Out the Worst In Us Is a Huge Hit (video)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


News Links, April 22-23, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Japan's Trade Deficit Quadruples as Imports Surge Ahead of Sales Tax Hike
Cause of Suicide: Austerity
New study finds direct link between Greek austerity cuts and increase in male suicides
Why Putin Is Smiling At The Bond Market's Blockade Of Russia
Citigroup to seek sale of 50 branches in California
China's economy could pay price for local government land sales
Local governments in China are increasingly relying on land sales to cover budget deficits, a move that could exacerbate the downward pressure on land prices and hurt the overall economy.
Mega-Debt Pledge Puts Turkish Finances to Bonds in Peril 
Turkey's pledge to guarantee the debt of contractors on public-works projects threatens to balloon government spending, a headwind for foreign buyers of the nation's bonds.
ECB Threatens Negative Interest Rates; Bank of NY Mellon Threatens Charging for Euro Deposits
America's Consumers Are Dropping, Not Shopping: McDonald's Posts Worst Q1 Same Store Comps In A Decade

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Transparent Airfares? Anything But, Consumer Groups Say
Employees at Jet Airways fear layoffs as airline embarks on cost-cutting spree
Airlines try to squeeze even more seats into your plane
Armrests out: Airlines put the squeeze on weight
Travelers Love Airlines - Except for the Flying

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Experts: U.S. must have OKd transfer of missiles seen in Syria rebel videos
The heavy anti-tank missiles recently shown in videos being fired by Western-backed Syrian rebels were manufactured in the United States, and their transfer to the rebels would have required direct American government approval, according to experts in international weapons deals.
Water Wars: The Next Clash between India and China
China Prepares Massive Investments in Crimea
In Shift to Africa, US Troops Find Complicated Relationships
The West and Russia: a tit for tat game. Part 3
Ukraine president calls for new anti-rebel offensive as crisis deal falters
White House to Send $8M in Non-Lethal Items to Ukraine
Second US Warship Enters Black Sea To "Promote Peace And Stability"
US Drones Continue 'Massive' Operations in Third Day of Attacks
New spectre in Ukraine: nuclear plants as targets
Fighting could disrupt offsite power plants or transmission lines servicing the reactor, and could also prevent diesel fuel from reaching the plant to replenish standby generators. Operators could abandon their posts should violence encroach. Moreover, combatants could invade nuclear plants and threaten sabotage to release radioactive elements to intimidate their opponents. Others might take refuge there, creating a dangerous standoff.
As I've said before, nuclear reactors are all ticking time bombs. As global unrest and instability increase, so does the probability of disruption at nuclear power plants. Fukushima is just a preview of what will eventually and inevitably happen all over the world as collapse proceeds. -- RF
U.S. force in Afghanistan may be cut to less than 10,000 troops
US to send 600 troops to Eastern Europe to reassure allies
U.S. Officials Back Abe's Military Push
China waging a quiet three-front war against US: expert
'Piles and piles' of bodies in S. Sudan slaughter
Nationalism Not NATO Brought Down The Soviet Empire: Let The People Resolve The Ukrainian Borders, Too

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Students Deploy Riot-Ready Social Media
Protesters fight police, burn Maduro puppets in Venezuela
Furious Chinese Rioters Beat Corrupt Policemen To Death

## Energy/resources ##
The EIA is Seriously Exaggerating Shale Gas Production in its Drilling Productivity Report
Saudi's SABIC Says Natural Gas Shortage Limiting Domestic Growth
Central Asian Hydroelectric Water Wars Heat Up
Indonesia's PLN expects LNG demand to double in 2015 - executive
Egypt to lift natural gas prices for homes, businesses
Searching The Planet To Find Power For The Cloud
Researchers at Greenpeace estimate that if the cloud were a country it would be one of the biggest consumers of electricity on the planet. "It would rank around sixth in the world," says Gary Cook at Greenpeace. "That is right after Russia and right before Germany."
Libya expects delays at key oil terminal
Turkey to get more gas from Russia
Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz said Monday his country agreed to increase gas capacity through the Blue Stream pipeline by more than 18 percent.
China's crude imports from Iran up 36% in March
Iraqi pipeline 'unusable'
An oil pipeline carrying crude from Iraq's Kirkuk oilfields to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan is "unusable" because of persistent militant attacks, Turkey's energy minister was reported as saying on Monday.
Gazprom says will meet rising gas demand in Europe
Russia's Putin Wants Beefed-Up Presence In Arctic
Obama Admin Gives Nuclear Loan Guarantee For Free

## Got food? ##
Kraft recalls 96,000 pounds of Oscar Mayer wieners
Yes! We have no bananas? It could actually happen
Venezuelans wary that food ID cards are thin end of rationing wedge
Maine baby lobster decline could end high catches

## Environment/health ##
Virus expert says MERS infection prevention, control has "broken down" in Saudi Arabia
Sharp Rise In MERS Cases May Mean The Virus Is Evolving
Skin cancer rates soar thanks to sunbeds and cheap holidays
Africa Land Grabs Endanger Elephants: Report
Powerful Narcotic Painkiller Up For FDA Approval
Rare Birth Defects Still Spiking in Washington State
Next stop for Chikungunya virus: The U.S.?
Eating flowers 'could help reduce cancer risk'

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
White House asks American parents to monitor their children for signs of terrorism
In a speech earlier this week, Lisa O. Monaco, President Barack Obama's assistant for homeland security and counterterrorism, insisted that American parents must be vigilant because their "confrontational" children could be on the verge of becoming terrorists.
More surveillance cameras for Mexico City
Gates-, Carnegie-funded student data group to close after NY pulls out amid privacy fears
Launched in 2013 with $100 million in financing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Carnegie Corp., the nonprofit's goal was to give educators a data-based tool to personalize instruction. InBloom, based in Atlanta, offered to store and synthesize student data, such as grades, disciplinary actions and disability records in cloud-based servers.
Peddler of Iraq War Lies Now Pushes Lies On Urkaine to Drum Up Confrontation with Russia
Clapper bans US intelligence employees from 'unauthorised' media contact
Obama ordered to divulge legal basis for killing Americans with drones
Marines looking for a few good actors to play terrorists in training exercises
Teen stowaway shows holes in vast airport security
Although the 15-year-old apparently wanted nothing more than to run away, his success in slipping past layers of security early Sunday morning made it clear that a determined person can still get into a supposedly safe area and sneak onto a plane.
Which backs up my assertion that either (1) the US faces no credible "terrorist threat," or (2) would-be terrorists are among the dumbest people on the planet. -- RF
US 'Silently' Stripping Open Net Protections
Scientists explore possibilities of mind reading

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Political Poison of Vested Interests
Once vested interests take control, the only possible "solution" left is collapse. I have long identified diminishing returns as a key dynamic in the current unraveling of the Status Quo. Why is this so? We can summarize diminishing returns as dumping more money, capital, energy and effort into a system just to keep the output from falling to zero.
On Rackets—Military, Banking, Health Care, College Loans—And The Demolition Derby In America's Interior Cities
Citigroup's leaders say company is still too complex
Austerity endangers Spain's road users
Spain's roads fall victim to austerity measures with urgent investment needed to restore road surfaces, markings and crash barriers
America's Empire And Credit Bubble Are Reaching Their "Sell-By" Date
How income inequality can lead to more financial crises

## Japan ##
Japan logs record $134B trade deficit in FY 2013
Japan Trade Deficit Largest in History; Imports Soar, Exports Barely Up In Spite of Collapsed Yen
Bank of Japan may still opt for huge JGB buys, when it acts: Suda
The Bank of Japan is likely to hold off on expanding monetary stimulus for as long as possible but when it does act, it will take "extraordinary" steps such as buying government bonds on a massive scale, a former central bank policymaker said on Monday.
Japan overhauls its public pension fund, the world's biggest
Housewives in Japan See No Benefit from Abenomics (video)
Debt Rattle Apr 21 2014: The Twilight Of The Rising Sun
Japan Imports Record Level Of LNG, Coal
146 Japanese lawmakers visit Yasukuni shrine
More activists sue over Abe's shrine visit
Defense Ministry to monitor numerous flights by Russian military aircrafts near Japan
Govt eyes financial aid for school lunch fees
Labor shortage hits major industries
Tokyo to install security cameras on public elementary school commute routes

## China ##
Chinese Bad-Loan Ratio Rises 'Significantly,' Huarong Says
China's bad-loan ratio rose "significantly" in the first quarter, increasing risks for the nation's banking industry, according to the nation's largest manager of soured debt.
Exodus of Japan Inc. Slams China
China seizes Japanese cargo ship over pre-war debt
Xi's Squeeze Leaves China's Heartland Missing Boom
Coal slump turns Ordos into ghost town
Betting on land sales brings high risks for China's provincial debt
Developers In China Combat Real Estate Oversupply With Wacky Deals And Deep Discounts
Crackdown on extravagance to continue during holiday
Amid Fear of Growing Violence, China's Police Start Carrying Guns
Car repair services far more profitable than sales in China
Car owners in China are facing huge maintenance and repair costs that often amount to more than buying a new car, reports the Guangzhou-based Southern Weekly.
China's Impending CCFD Unwind: Speculators Are Hocking Any Cargo That Ships—Iron Ore, Soybeans, Palm Oil, Rubber, Zinc, Aluminum, Gold, Copper & Nickel

## UK ##
Fuel thieves steal 30,000 litres of diesel from major pipeline
Rise of the 'super workers' who never take time off
Decline of the traditional family doctor revealed
Vince Cable warns businesses on 'ridiculous' pay awards
As companies prepare for their annual general meetings, Mr Cable has written to all FTSE 100 companies to remind them that pressure on pay awards must be kept up to assuage public anger.
End to Mediterranean dream for 90,000 Britons who left Spain last year
UK Hunting the Rich – Abandon UK Before you cannot.

## US ##
IRS gave bonuses to employees who didn't pay their taxes
Analysis: America's Middle Class Falters As Nation's Richest Rise
Brand names that appear in NY standardized tests vex parents
Sorry, Fed Inflationistas: Technology Is Deflationary
Subprime reborn: Mortgage Standards Are Plunging – It's Muppet Fleecing Time All Over Again
As Army shrinks, young officers being pushed out
The Fed's $33 Trillion Bent Spoon Trick
The Fed's enormous balance sheet in seven charts
"It's Impossible To Work Your Way Through College Nowadays"
Retail Store Closures Soar In 2014: At Highest Pace Since Lehman Collapse
Fields And Farm Jobs Dry Up With California's Worsening Drought
D.C. switching to REAL ID, all District driver's licenses to be replaced
America's Fastest Shrinking Cities
McDonald's profit falls, U.S. diners not 'lovin' it'
Higher Beef Prices Taking a Bite Out of McDonald's Profits
Fast-Food CEOs Earn Supersize Salaries; Workers Earn Small Potatoes
Why even $1M may not be enough for retirement
The "War on Street Artists" – Puppeteer Unlawfully Arrested and Harassed in NYC Subway
While wealthy white collar criminals rape and pillage society with total immunity, those who have no voice are being increasingly stomped down upon by an unjust system.
Ku Klux Klan establishes neighborhood watch in Pennsylvania
Number Of Middle Age Californians Living With Their Parents Soars
It's another chapter in the saga of the declining nuclear family. -- RF
Nevada Standoff a Symptom of Increasing Authoritarianism

And finally...
Spanish 'Robin Hood' swindled banks of nearly $700,000 — and then gave it away
Bear walks down streets in Canadian town with jar stuck on its head

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