Thursday, April 03, 2014


News Links, April 3, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Eurozone unemployment stuck near record high
Free market: Turns Out, Even The Price of Beer Is Rigged
Welfare Trap for Australia Disabled Pushes Half to Poverty: Jobs
'Hope-for-Growth Momentum Investing'
'Conditionally Yours': IMF Austerity on the Rise
Harsh austerity measures imposed by the International Monetary Fund have risen sharply over the last few years, causing mass struggle for poor countries, a report published Wednesday shows.
IMF Chief Christine Lagarde says Ukraine crisis can derail global economic recovery
A "recovery" is not coming, anyway. But we need to manufacture excuses. -- RF
Is the global workforce headed for a burnout?

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Southwest Airlines, once a rebel, shows its age
Air Travel in Latin America: Still A Luxury?
Qantas rating flies into 'red pain zone'
United Airlines axes more routes from Cleveland
Aerospace giant Boeing to cut 300 Australia jobs
THAI flies into turbulence 
Estonian Air's loss for the year likely to be EUR 8.1m

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
A glance at military spending around the world
U.S. Deploys More Special Forces in Search of Kony, Africa's Stand-in for Osama bin Laden
Buried bombs outside Cairo University kill top police official
Berlin will not block deals with Russia by DEA and Wintershall
JP Morgan to process payment for Russian embassy, easing tension
Iran, Russia working to seal $20 billion oil-for-goods deal: sources
'I am not fighting against al-Qa'ida‚Ķ it's not our problem', says West's last hope in Syria
The rebel leader touted as the West's last hope to stem the tide of extreme jihadist groups in Syria has said he will not fight against al-Qa'ida, and openly admits to battling alongside them.
Cheney endorses Iran strike to laughter, applause
U.S. Navy Sending Destroyer to Black Sea to Support Ukraine
1,886 Killed in Iraq in March as Violence Continues to Rise
Ukraine to Host NATO War Games, Prompting Russian Warning
Ban on Russian contacts spreads to US space agency NASA
Manila files South China Sea claim

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Hundreds protest against Chinese chemical plant
Dozens injured as clashes erupt in Egypt cities
Police fire water cannon in Turkish capital at election protest
Officials confiscate makeshift tank from Venice group that allegedly planned to violently separate from Italy

## Energy/resources ##
Old Math Casts Doubt on Accuracy of Oil Reserve Estimates
Merkel Agrees to Ease Cuts in Wind Aid to Appease Regions
CNOOC, China's oil darling, posts disappointing results
When they announced their annual results last week, the overarching theme this year for Chinese state-owned oil companies was prudence, cost controls and efficiency. CNOOC Ltd, the smallest and traditionally the most nimble of the three companies, however, disappointed in both earnings and organic growth last year and also drew flak for its failure to cap ballooning upstream costs.
Gas-rich Netherlands little help to Europe if Russia cuts supplies
Norway's pipeline operator Gassco told Reuters last month it could only offer EU members limited help for one or two days in the event of a Russian supply cut.
In Kazakhstan, Development Of World's Largest Oil Field In 35 Years Still Going All Wrong
World Bank to Issue "Billion Dollar Map" of Africa's Mineral Wealth

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Cable vandals throw Delta communities into blackout (Nigeria)

## Got food? ##
Venezuela tackles food shortage with ID card system
Superbugs in the Meat Supply
Should We Close Part Of The Ocean To Keep Fish On The Plate?
A quarter of Europe's bumblebees, vital to crops, face extinction: study
Peak phosphorus will be a shortage we can't stomach
A more immediate danger is that the cost of energy will raise the costs of mining, processing, and distribution to the point where phosphorus is prohibitively expensive to many farmers. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Massive 8.2-Magnitude Quake Triggers Tsunami Off Chile
High waves, blackouts, highway damage follow 8.2 Chile earthquake
MERS study shows link to camels in Saudi Arabia

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
US secretly built 'Cuban Twitter' to stir unrest
The U.S. government masterminded the creation of a "Cuban Twitter" - a communications network designed to undermine the communist government in Cuba, built with secret shell companies and financed through foreign banks, The Associated Press has learned.
So You Think You're Smarter Than A CIA Agent
According to one report, the predictions made by the Good Judgment Project are often better even than intelligence analysts with access to classified information, and many of the people involved in the project have been astonished by its success at making accurate predictions.
Clapper Confesses: NSA Searching Americans' Calls and Emails
While Warning Of Chinese Cyberthreat, U.S. Launches Its Own Attack
WhatsApp has second outage
Yahoo adds more security to thwart surveillance

## Japan ##
Gov't eyes swift lifting of Fukushima evacuation orders to limit damages payouts
The government is set to make all-out efforts to lift its evacuation orders for municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture as quickly as possible in a bid to hold down the amounts of compensation for damages from the 2011 nuclear crisis.
Japan firms doubt BOJ price targets, new stimulus seen
Computer adjustments due to consumption tax hike cause system errors

## China ##
Steel Defaults Seen by S&P as Yuan Ruins Ore Loans: China Credit
The Chinese steel industry's ability to survive 1 billion yuan ($161 million) of losses per month without more defaults is under threat as a slump in iron ore and the yuan undermines a key source of financing.
What Happens After the Low-Hanging Fruit Has Been Picked?
For China's Would-Be Retirees, the Good Life May Come a Little Later
China's prospective retirees may have to wait a little longer to enjoy their quiet years. Facing a rapidly aging population and declining numbers of working-age people, government officials are strongly hinting that they may raise the retirement age.

## UK ##
House prices: gap between London and the rest of the UK 'widest in 40 years'
Royal Bank of Scotland to shut 44 branches
Part-nationalized Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) said on Wednesday it will close 44 branches, of which 14 are classed as "Last Banks in Town", in the UK and Scotland.

## US ##
U.S. Pump Prices Seen Extending Gains From 6-Month High: Energy
Reverse Mortgages Spike 20% in 2013 as Baby Boomers Scramble for Cash
More Americans see middle class status slipping
Big donors may give even more under court's ruling
NC drivers could be charged by the mile; NCDOT hears proposal
Factory Orders Beat Expectations Thanks To Major Seasonal Adjustments
Half of Americans Would Not Last a Month on Savings
9 In 10 Most Popular Jobs Are Low Paying
Hiring, Retaining Staff Poses Challenges to US Interior Dept.
Employers are hiring more selectively, looking for the ideal match, but it's not enough for a potential employee to be able to do the job, employers want someone already doing that exact job. Labor shortages, which have caused a ripple in the oil and gas industry, are now being felt at the federal level.
Zillow Opens the Floodgates to Chinese Buyers in Order to Keep Housing Bubble 2.0 Inflated

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