Sunday, April 13, 2014


News Links, April 12-14, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Is the US or the World Coming to an End?
Apocalypse near? 'Year of the Bear' implosion haunts China
Pessimists say multiple signs point toward an impending implosion
Bitcoin Mining Boom Sputters as Prospectors Face Losses
Europe's top banks cut 80,000 more staff in post-crisis overhaul
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
China Property Collapse Has Begun
"It's not a bubble," Retail Investors Are Told As The Smart Money Bails Out
72% Of Greeks Need More Work To Make Ends Meet
Shipbuilding Orders Evaporate As Baltic Dry Collapses
Tensions over money flows bode poorly for global economy
Debate heats up over Australia's fiscal future
The Australian government is under growing pressure to raise taxes or slash spending, as experts warn that the country can no longer afford current levels of public expenditure.
Cuba looks to cooperatives to slow rise of capitalism
Hugely outnumbered – Western gold bears by Asian gold enthusiasts
"Analysts" Lower Revenue Growth Expectations By Most In 18 Months
"A Triumphant Recovery"? A First-Person Perspective Of What Is Really Happening In Greece

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Gatwick Airport Christmas Eve chaos is a 'wake up call'
Why Air France-KLM Might Want to Ditch Its Freighter Fleet
What's next for Branson Airport?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Inside the FBI's secret relationship with the military's special operations
South Korea, US To Hold Largest-Ever Joint Air Drill
Rio police oust thousands in massive slum raid
The Key to South China Sea Peace Is Apparently a Secret
Egypt's Tahrir Square dream fades as Sisi builds power
Two Brotherhood members killed in gunfight with Egypt police
US Marines Headed To Chad Park To Fight Poaching
'More than 600' Gibraltar incursions since 2013
Pakistan navy deploys Chinese C-602 cruise missile
Uniformed men occupy Donetsk police HQ
Men in the uniforms of Ukraine's now-defunct riot police on Saturday occupied police headquarters in Donetsk, the eastern city that is one of the flashpoints of a wave of pro-Russia protests, hours after armed men seized local police headquarters and a local branch of the Security Service in a nearby city.
Ukraine prepares armed response as city seized by pro-Russia forces
America threatens Russia with further sanctions as Ukraine crisis deepens
The West and Russia: a tit for tat game, part II
Billionaire Russian gas trader says U.S. sanctions a badge of honor
Ukraine sends forces to confront armed pro-Russian rebels
Casualties reported as Ukraine readies offensive
Peru state a violent 'mini-dictatorship'
Israeli teenagers risk being sent to prison by refusing to join the army
Rivalry between Taliban factions erupts in violence (Pakistan)

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Why the Standoff at the Bundy Ranch is a Very Big Deal
Ripples of Nevada range showdown spreading in West
Feds abruptly end cattle roundup in Nevada
Cattle Battle: Armed Protesters Join Fight Over Nevada Ranch
Individuals targeted as San Francisco tech money protests intensify
One killed in clashes in Alexandria, police disperses protests
Protesters Slam Gates Foundation for Private Prison Profits
Argentina hit by nationwide strike over inflation
Anti-Austerity Protesters Clash with Police in Rome

## Energy/resources ##
Preventing summer blackouts in Egypt is "impossible" -minister
Egypt's minister of electricity and renewable energy said that the government will not be able to prevent power cuts this summer, an acknowledgment of the severe energy crunch facing the most populous Arab country.
EPA coal rules leaving US vulnerable to power blackouts?
IEA points to supply risks outside OPEC
According to the International Energy Agency's latest monthly report, OPEC's 12 members will need to pump an average of 350,000 b/d more during the second half of 2014 to meet global oil demand after their output slumped to a five-month low in March.
Shell drops innovative Norwegian subsea gas project
Royal Dutch Shell has dropped an innovative project to provide compression for a major Norwegian gas field without the need for a platform, dealing a blow to a technology that some hope could revolutionize offshore production. Shell said it would postpone the project to provide subsea compression at Ormen Lange, Norway's second-biggest gas field, because costs have soared and the technology is uncertain.
As U.S. Shale Plateaus, Drillers Look Abroad
It is possible that many shale producers in the U.S. will see their production plateau over the next few years. The phenomenal expansion experienced in America's oil patch will likely come down from their stratospheric growth rates. A few analysts see production from many independent producers reaching a plateau by 2016.
Did crude oil production actually peak in 2005?
Here is a key fact that casts doubt on the official reporting: When the industry and the government talk about the price of oil sold on world markets and traded on futures exchanges, they mean one thing. But, when they talk about the total production of oil, they actually mean something quite different--namely, a much broader category that includes all kinds of things that are simply not oil and that could never be sold on the world market as oil.
Iran Expanding Presence on International Oil Stage
Nuclear renaissance: Enough Uranium, but Nuclear Power Is Still Shrinking
Nuclear renaissance: Czech Utility Scraps Nuclear Plants Over Costs
Nuclear renaissance: U.S. Nuclear Output Drops Near One-Year Low
U.S. nuclear-power production tumbled to the lowest level in almost a year after a New Jersey reactor unexpectedly closed, boosting total plant shutdowns for planned and unplanned work to 19.
Malaysia to raise natural gas price from May 1
Ukraine suspends gas payments to Russia until talks conclude
UN: 'Massive shift' needed on energy
High-altitude wind turbines have potential to generate large amounts of electricity
Natural gas supply shortage could jack up prices

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Large Metal Theft From Construction Site
Church repeatedly targeted by copper thieves
Scrap thieves steal at least 100 transmissions from auto parts lot

## Got food? ##
Calgary police say supermarket meat target for thieves, who sell out of vehicles
Can you live without processed food?
Food Price Shock, 2014 Edition
Beef prices reach highest level since 1987
China's corn rejections cost companies $427 million- industry group
China has rejected nearly 1.45 million tonnes of U.S. corn shipments since late last year, according to a U.S. grain industry association, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA) estimates that China's rejection of genetically modified corn has cost grains companies $427 million in lost sales and re-routed shipments.
The Basics of Safe Food Storage and the Benefits of Planning Ahead
Rising prices aid $15B food fraud problem

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Are We Losing Practical Life-Skills?

## Environment/health ##
Ohio geologists link small quakes to fracking
4 years after spill, questions on long-term health
El Nino more than 50 percent likely by summer: U.S. weather forecaster
Dust storms cloud Iran's future
Crude oil leak blamed for China water contamination
Geoengineering: How to save the planet: Moon mining, iron filings and fake volcanoes
Measles Outbreak Traced to Fully Vaccinated Patient for First Time

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Heartbleed could harm a variety of systems
NSA Said to Exploit Heartbleed Bug for Intelligence for Years
NSA Denies It Used 'Heartbleed' Bug to Gather Intelligence
Can't Ask That? Some Job Interviewers Go To Social Media Instead
4 places you should not swipe your debit card
Reporters who broke Snowden story return to U.S. for first time
CIA use of torture 'far worse' than admitted, says leaked Senate report
Russian TV Caught Red-handed: Same Guy Three Different People (Spy, Bystander, Heroic Surgeon)
The Fourth Amendment Shell Game
Window opens on secret camp within Guantanamo
Motorists worry about security of connected cars
Informant society: Homeland Security app: 'See something, send something'
DHS alert: Heartbleed may have been used against industrial control systems

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Why green growth won't transform the economy
The point here is closely related to my observation of the other day: A country skimps somewhere, or shifts its problems to another country, and claims it is making do with less. Green growth, my ass. -- RF
World's Fair Relics Were Once Visions of the Future

## Japan ##
Japan approves energy plan reinstating nuclear power
A recent Reuters analysis shows as many as two-thirds of the country's 48 idled nuclear reactors may have to be left closed because of the high cost of further upgrades, local opposition or seismic risks. "I think it is unavoidable that the Japanese utilities will write off most of their nuclear 'assets' and move on," said Mycle Schneider, a Paris-based independent energy consultant.
Govt energy plan offers no N-power details
Japan confirms first bird flu case since 2011
Gov't orders 112,000 chickens culled after bird flu outbreak in Kumamoto
Barclays Asks Is It Finally Time To Short Japanese Bonds?
Japanese consumers shun luxury goods after tax hike
Japan Inflation Is Sluggish as Effects of Weak Yen Wear Off
U.S. alarmed about plutonium stockpile growing from Rokkasho plant

## China ##
China desperately trying to avert economic slide
China's Fractures Widens: Property Trust Sales Crash By 49%
Chinese rush for bottled drinks after benzene pollutes tapwater
China finds nearly 2,000 firms in breach of anti-pollution rules
With Kids Still in Diapers, Chinese Parents Snap Up College-Town Homes Abroad
China takes on big risks in push for shale gas
China's 'Lehman' Moment

## UK ##
Fuel thieves strike in Caythorpe, stealing hundreds of litres of diesel
Thieves plunder Land Rover Defenders for spare parts as car goes out of production
Homeowners raising average asking price in London by 7% a month
It's the New Dark Age as street lights are switched off
More and more councils are switching off street lights after midnight, mostly to save money rather than to cut light pollution.

## US ##
Uncle Sam Takes Refunds to Pay Ancient Debts: Commentary
The government is now going through old records to see if it overpaid people on Social Security. If it thinks it did, it can now seize the IRS tax refund checks of the CHILDREN of those people it thinks it overpaid. This isn't a proposal -- it's already happening. For the past three years, the government has been confiscating hundreds of thousands of Americans' tax refunds, according to the Washington Post. It has already confiscated $1.9 billion in tax refunds this year alone.
Meltdown America: Consequences of Economic Mismanagement
Thieves drill, drain gas tanks
Gas Thieves Siphoning Natomas Residents' Fuel
Sharp Rise In Gas Prices, Some Areas At $4
Paying Off Student Loans Puts A Dent In Wallets, And The Economy
Identifying the "hot spots" for cargo theft
Nasdaq ends below 4,000 for first time since early February
Some Amazon employees may get $5,000—to quit
A glimmer of hope for ending highway construction crisis
And the $16 billion will come from... where? -- RF
Reader Question on the Inevitable Los Angeles Bankruptcy; What About Chicago?
85% of Pension Funds to Fail in Three Decades
Bridgewater Associates did an analysis of pension funds recently and concluded 85% of them will fail if returns average 4%.
But it won't take three decades. -- RF
High fees eroding many 401(k) retirement accounts
12 shootings on roads around Kansas City 'positively linked', police say
GM CEO Barra Lied To Congress: Docs Reveal She Knew About Steering Problem Years Ago
Statue Of A Homeless Jesus Startles A Wealthy Community
Coldwater Creek files for bankruptcy
State Department Cannot Account for Billions of Contracts; It Can Account for $400,000 for Camel Statue in Pakistan
Walgreen under intensifying pressure to leave Illinois for tax advantage in Europe

And finally...
Finance officials: Global economy turns the corner
Wastewater Treatment Plant Allowing Flushing Brides and Grooms to Marry

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