Friday, May 30, 2014


News Links, May 29-30, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Why the days of booming world trade may be over
Junk Borrowers Are Increasingly "Adjusting Earnings" to More Easily Sell Debt (US)
Scramble for yields getting desperate: Art Cashin
German jobless rise biggest in five years, mild winter blamed
South Europe pensioners supporting their children and grandchildren
Putin Says Russia, China Need To Ensure Security Of Their Gold Reserves
Chart Of The Day: Global Youth Unemployment
BlackRock CEO says leveraged ETFs could 'blow up' whole industry
Argentina reaches deal with Paris Club to clear $9.7 billion in debt
Math-Challenged French Socialists Face Plunging Vote; €14 Billion Budget Black Hole
America's Potemkin Economy—-Stuffed With Happy Meals, Ho-Hos And Lies
Try to Contain Your Laughter: Prince Charles and Lady de Rothschild Team Up to Talk About 'Inclusive Capitalism'
Financial Times – Kenneth Rogoff (Harvard): "Time to Phase Out Paper Money"
Russian Gold Reserves Increase By A Massive Amount In April
Britain, Italy include drugs and sex in GDP

## Airline Death Spiral ##
India's Jet Airways to restructure after record loss
The end of national airlines?
Why Airlines Don't Want You to Know How Much Your Bag Costs
Malaysia Airlines union calls for CEO to resign

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
U.S. dispatches 1,000 Marines to Libya's coast as fighting escalates
Ukraine military chopper shot down near Slovyansk by rebels
Ukraine says hundreds of armed militants have crossed border from Russia
AP sources: US may decide to train Syrian rebels
Syrian rebels say they are already being trained by the CIA
Americans advised to leave Libya amid turmoil
China's Advance Spurs Indonesian Military Shift: Southeast Asia
Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan set up new alliance
Leaders of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan on Thursday signed an agreement to create the Eurasian Economic Union, an alliance intended to further boost economic and trade ties between the ex-Soviet neighbors.
From Puppet Soldiers to Puppet Journalists: AFRICOM Grows Its War Machine
AFRICOM's primary project is to transform the militaries of the continent into dependencies and pawns of U.S. foreign policy. It's second most import objective is the hide Washington's actual intentions behind a "humanitarian" mask – such as participating in the search for Nigerian schoolgirls from Boko Haram. Some African journalists are eager to be part of the ruse.
Japan aid widens Myanmar factories vs farms divide
Abe to push bigger global security role for Japan at Asian forum
Tensions Rise in South China Sea as China Seeks Oil, Gas in Disputed Waters

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
20,000 mourners chant 'Not One More' at memorial service for California shooting victims
China holds mass sentencing of 55 people at football stadium
In a spectacle designed to show their resolve against terrorism, Chinese authorities held a public sentencing in a football stadium in the northwestern Xinjiang region of 55 people convicted of violent crimes.
Mass Hospitalizations As Hunger Strike Spreads in Israeli Prisons
Indigenous Protesters Take Aim at World Cup 'Injustice' with Bows and Arrows
Spanish Police Clash With Protesters Over Barcelona Evictions
'Permanent Protest Vigil' Launched to Confront First Tar Sands Mine in US

## Energy/resources ##
Its Electricity Dwindling, Cambodia is Getting Very Dark and Very, Very Hot
Argentina promises no gas shortage this winter, but industry has already suffered the first cuts
Baghdad's Hold On Kurdistan Slips Further As Oil Exports Begin
In what could prove to be an historic turning point for Iraq, the government of Kurdistan – the semi-autonomous region in the country's north – has delivered its first shipment of oil to the international market, in defiance of the central government in Baghdad.
China CNPC sees to invest at least $2 bln in Peru after Petrobras deal
Better late than never, Germany joins new scramble for Africa
Ukraine's gas stockpiling builds winter buffer against supply cut
Gas talks set for Friday as Ukraine cut-off deadline looms
EU backs deal to limit use of food-based biofuels
Shale Boom Goes Bust As Costs Soar
Is The Shale Industry About To Experience A Shakeout?
Diesel runs short in Perth
Fracking Sucks Money From Wind While China Eclipses U.S.
Meter Inspector Beaten as Power Retailers Bleed: Corporate India
Not Enough Wind To Fill U.S. Renewable Energy Sails
Summer Coal Demand Straining U.S. Railways
In its reports Can railroads meet summer US coal demand? the firm says on top of the issue of having stockpiles almost depleted during the past harsh winter in North America, coal companies are now dealing with a rail network unable to increase the rate of deliveries much beyond 2013 levels. This, add the experts, means there is a high probability coal-producing units relying on western coal will not be able to ramp up output despite higher demand.
Fracking spurs next industrial revolution
Read in combination with the following item. -- RF
Why The Promise Of American LNG Exports Is Gassy Hype
Questions are percolating if the US is going to have enough natural gas in storage by end of October to last through the winter. People are crunching all sorts of numbers to get a handle on it. But the Energy Department's EIA remains sanguine. Its predictions concerning natural gas are almost always far off target, and its predictions of a super-low price over the last two years have become – with hindsight – a silly joke.
Record Exports For A Forgotten Petroleum Power (Iran)
This is happening because even the US realizes that the world needs Iran's oil and gas, as I have observed. -- RF
U.S. plants prepare long-term nuclear waste storage

## Got food? ##
Why Are Food Prices so High? Because We're Eating Oil
On this subject, read this classic FTW article from 2004. -- RF
U.S. Food Inflation Running at 22%
As Oklahoma Drought Continues, Farmers Prepare For Losses
As Oklahoma enters its fourth year of sustained drought, some farmers expect the harvest to be so bad they'll end up calling their insurance agents and declaring this year a total loss.
Deadly pig virus re-infects U.S. farm, fuels supply fears
Chlorine in your chicken: Why poultry is more dangerous than ever
5 things to know about salmonella in chicken
Chicken Brooder Basics (Video)
Kenya to suffer food shortage starting July, warns Koskei
Got Milk? With Chinese Demand, Market Competition Heats Up

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Video of the Day – The Religion of Consumerism
Anti-consumerism is not enough

## Environment/health ##
Study: Species disappearing far faster than before
Species of plants and animals are becoming extinct at least 1,000 times faster than they did before humans arrived on the scene, and the world is on the brink of a sixth great extinction, a new study says.
Dust In The Wind: Dust Bowl Conditions Have Returned To Kansas, Oklahoma And North Texas
Angry mothers meet U.S. EPA over concerns with Roundup herbicide
Salmonella Surprise: 574 Sick In Foster Farms Outbreak, CDC Says
American Teens Are Becoming Even Wimpier Than Before
Insurers scrutinize drug costs after $84,000 Sovaldi surprise
Shocked by the rapid adoption of a new $84,000 hepatitis C treatment, U.S. health insurers are trying to make sure they aren't blindsided by other drugs being developed and are looking for ways to limit their use from the day they are launched.
Two sisters in Iran test positive for MERS
Obese or Overweight People Top 2.1 Billion Worldwide
About 2.1 billion people, or almost one-third of the world's population, were obese or overweight last year, researchers estimated after examining data from 183 countries.
Let the exploitation begin: Ecuador issues drilling permits for untouched corner of the Amazon
CDC: Measles cases in USA hit 20-year high
Ready, Set, Spray! Brazil Battles Dengue Ahead Of The World Cup

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Harvard and MIT students create NSA-proof e-mail service
No Place To Hide—-Endless Spies And Colossal Lies
Bush's Anti-Terror Chief: Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld Can Be Tried at the Hague for War Crimes They Committed In Iraq
NSA Releases Single Snowden Email to General Counsel

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
UK power outages double, says report
The number of power outages in the UK has more than doubled in the past year, potentially costing UK businesses hundreds of thousands of pounds, according to Eaton's latest Blackout Tracker report.
US, UK manufacturers face digital skills shortage
Shortage of agricultural scientists is a real problem
It's simple. If we can't change our economic system, our number's up
Bidders for 2022 Winter Games are melting away
As we can also see from the World Cup, mega sporting events are costing too much. When energy gets too expensive, the costs of all other things skyrocket, especially large-scale projects. -- RF
Mexico claims it's beaten Michoacan gang, but new ones are forming
Ford Recalls 1.4 Million Vehicles For Various Defects

## Japan ##
Japanese Retail Sales Collapse By Most On Record
At Fukushima, ice is just another brick in the wall of denial
The Essence Of Abenomics: Swapping Japan's Historical Trade Mercantilism For Keynesian Financialization
Japan's Great Keynesian Rebuke: Abenomics Has Wiped Out ItsTrade Accounts—-Exactly Opposite The Theory
Oil Tanker Ship Explodes Off Western Japan Coast, One Missing
Women Courted With Cakes as Japan Seeks Stock Buyers
Shell signs 20-year LNG deal with Japan
Tolls to fund repairs as expressways age
Most urgently needed are renovations to Tokyo's metropolitan expressways, which were built in a rush ahead of the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. Certain sections were built more than 50 years ago, and some roads have subsided and cracked.
Tritium levels at Fukushima No. 1 top Pacific Ocean dumping limit, Tepco admits
Water sampled from a well at the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has been found to contain levels of radioactive tritium that exceeds [sic] the limit for dumping it into the Pacific, operator Tokyo Electric Power Co. said.
Japan plans to sell submarine technology to Australia in move experts say could rattle China
Cockpit conversation from Peach jet that descended too soon erased
BOJ's Shirai says stimulus support will continue beyond 2015

## China ##
China Isn't Just Slowing Down — It's Contracting
Commuters Herded Like Cattle as China Escalates its Own "War on Terror"
China planning for an extra 2 million babies per year as it allows more couples to have 2 kids

## UK ##
Middle classes will disappear in next 30 years warns Government adviser
Property price rises will cause the middle classes to disappear within 30 years leaving only a "wealthy elite and sprawling proletariat", government adviser says
Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were a 'failure' costing £29bn
Britain's wars in Iraq and southern Afghanistan were both strategic failures which between them have cost the UK taxpayer more than £29 billion, a respected think tank has found.
Alex Salmond forced to downgrade North Sea oil claims
SNP ministers have insisted North Sea oil will generate more than twice the tax revenue impartial economists predict despite admitting their previous forecasts were billions of pounds too high.
Oil, gas and coal production woes hit British energy sector
Figures show surge in 'overcrowded' homes

## US ##
Housing Bubble 2 Already Collapsing for the 99%
The growing wealth divide in the U.S. housing market
Has The Next Recession Already Begun For America's Middle Class?
Texas VA Run Like a "Crime Syndicate" Claims Whistleblower
Today's Heroin Addict Is Young, White And Suburban
Medication costs fuel painful medical debt, bankruptcies
War Machine Investments For The New World Order
Hillary Clinton by the numbers
Expect a Tsunami of Municipal Bankruptcies
Costco results miss estimates as costs rise
New Orleans Nearly Finished Killing Off Its Public Schools
Couple Fined $746 for the Crime of Feeding Homeless People in Florida Park
Can't arrest a single banker, but police sure are good at stopping citizens from feeding the hungry. Sick.
Silicon Valley Billionaire Who Blocked Public Access to Popular Beach Claims: "He Owns the Road, the Beach and the Tides"
This is part of a greater destructive trend occurring within U.S. society. As the 0.01% get more rich and more powerful, more aspects of public life will be shut down to everyone else, especially the exponentially growing modern American serf class.
Staggering toll: Car crashes cost $871 billion a year
Last Year's QE Boost To Housing Is Already Over And Done
Illinois Has Worst Pension Crisis, Needs Boldest Reforms, Not More Tax Hikes
Meet Directive 3025.18 Granting Obama Authority To Use Military Force Against Civilians

And finally...
89-year-old woman beats off sword-wielding robber with golf club
Indian court asked to rule on whether Hindu guru dead or meditating
Man Dressed As A Pig Arrested For Impersonating An Officer
Jenga cat is better at game than most humans [VIDEO]
Britain has 'subculture' of 15,000 vampires, says university lecturer
Dr Emyr Williams, a psychology lecturer at Glyndwr University in Wrexham, said real vampires are a "global phenomenon"
Cynics three times more likely to suffer from dementia
Ancient Curse on Utah Park Is Real, Say Visitors

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


News Links, May 27-28, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
First Germany, Now Austria Demands An Audit Of Its Offshore Held Gold
The Size Of The Derivatives Bubble Hanging Over The Global Economy Hits A Record High
According to the Bank for International Settlements, the total notional value of derivatives contracts around the world has ballooned to an astounding 710 trillion dollars ($710,000,000,000,000).  Other estimates put the grand total well over a quadrillion dollars.
World shares hover near all-time high
Asset markets around the world continue to be supported by record-low interest rates in most of the world's big economies.
The CEO got a huge raise. You didn't. Here's why.
RBS slashes U.S. mortgage business, hundreds of jobs: FT
Prince Charles: reform capitalism to save the planet
World's Richest People Meet, Muse On How To Spread The Wealth
China Launching "Global Gold Exchange" In Shanghai
Government Plan Would Transform Israel Into The World's First Cashless Society
What happens when there's a power outage? -- RF
China to become No. 1 economic partner, Asia-Pacific region experts say
Volkswagen's Sales Disaster Continues
Tesla Scores Junk Bond Rating from S&P
Barclays Caught Red Handed Manipulating Gold

## Airline Death Spiral ##
What's next for air fares?
Long-haul first class air travel dwindling despite Etihad and Emirates innovation
Virgin Australia cuts seats for third-straight month
Air Berlin considers splitting in two - report
The company, Germany's No.2 airline after Lufthansa, earlier this month said it was looking at all options, including its business model, as it prepares to launch a fundamental restructuring aimed at restoring the loss-making airline to profitability.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Vietnam accuses China in sinking of fishing boat in disputed South China Sea
Thai army gets down to work on economy, stifles dissent
Boko Haram attack kills 31 Nigerian security personnel
US Secretly Training and Funding 'Elite' African Commandos
DoD Distances Itself From US Hacking Indictment of PLA Soldiers
'Chocolate king' is landslide winner in Ukraine, rejects annexation of Crimea
Separatists in Ukraine seize Donetsk airport, rail station, declare martial law
Scores of pro-Russia gunmen killed in fighting at airport, Ukraine says
Int'l Arrest Warrants Sought for Israeli Commandos Over Raid on Gaza Flotilla
A victory based on anguish, rage and denial. Who's who in the Europe's far right parties
U.S. Military's 'Iron Man' Suit Prototype Could Debut Next Month
Barack Obama announces plans for 9,800 US troops to stay in Afghanistan
NATO Scrambles F-16 Jets Over Lithuania After Russian Warplanes Allegedly Enter Airspace
When A "Pivot" Becomes A Boomerang: Obama's Russian Sanctions Folly
Study Shows US Government's Drone Killing Strategy Is Having Zero Impact On Al-Qaeda Attack Numbers

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Brazilian Team Jeered in Rio as World Cup Preparations Start
South Africa's Sugar Workers Plan First Strike for 17 Years
Protesters burn vehicles, buildings at New Caledonia nickel mine
Iraq using barrel bombs, hitting Fallujah hospital: HRW
Protesters clash with police over Spain squat eviction
Police clashed with protesters who burned bins and vehicles in Barcelona on Monday as anger boiled over at the eviction of activists from a well-known squat.

## Energy/resources ##
Shale drilling bust: Shakeout Threatens Shale Patch as Frackers Go for Broke
The U.S. shale patch is facing a shakeout as drillers struggle to keep pace with the relentless spending needed to get oil and gas out of the ground. Shale debt has almost doubled over the last four years while revenue has gained just 5.6 percent, according to a Bloomberg News analysis of 61 shale drillers. A dozen of those wildcatters are spending at least 10 percent of their sales on interest compared with Exxon Mobil Corp.'s 0.1 percent.
Oil Shale's Future: Resources Aplenty, But Challenges Loom
Big Oil Spending More, Getting Less in Production
Increased spending by major oil and gas companies has failed to boost production, according to a recent analyst report.
Despite increased spending, oil majors are seeing flat or declining production as they struggle to replace reserves, according to a recent analyst report.
Official: Gas shortage for electricity will not be resolved before September (Egypt)
Ukraine's new president faces looming energy crisis
Russia and Ukraine are headed toward another showdown, this time over Kiev's unpaid gas bills, in a dispute that could disrupt natural gas deliveries to Europe.
Yemen imports 60.000 tons of diesel to tackle shortages
Yemen has imported about 60,000 tons of diesel as the country has been facing an acute fuel shortage for more than a month, Premier Mohammed Basindwa said.
Streetlights to cost more to run (Australia)
Sun, Wind Combine To Give Germany A Bit Of Free Electricity
Russian firm studying world's largest coal-fired plant to supply China
Exxon, BP Defy White House; Extend Partnership with Russia
Canadian oil-by-rail exports rise more than 50%, reaching record high of 160,000 bpd
Hedge Funds Buy Oil Sensing Supply Shortage
Pakistan hopes for Russia's support in overcoming energy crisis — minister
Securing India's energy a major challenge for new PM Modi
Offshore Iceland: the Next Arctic Opportunity?
Made in China: The Middle East's Oil Boom
As the world's second-largest consumer of oil, China in the past decade has relied heavily on the Middle East to secure the resources required to fuel its ascendancy to become an economic superpower. In doing so, it overtook the U.S. as principal investor in the Middle East and played a pivotal role in transforming the region by lifting its economic and living standards.

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Navy arrests undersea cable thieves (Indonesia)
Copper thieves cause more than $1,000,000 in damage (US)
Dark overpasses and unlit exits are becoming common discoveries for road crews in Kentucky, and the frequency of those crimes is increasing.

## Got food? ##
Growing grocery bill: Here's why food prices are on the climb
Higher meat production costs to filter to US consumers
Pork industry fights drought, disease
Costs dry up summer milk (Australia)
A STEEP rise in the cost of electricity outlined in the recent Western Australian State Budget will increase the pressure on WA's embattled dairy industry according to producers.
The Social Cost of GMOs
The Future of Corn Production May Be Underground
Here's an idea that is obviously not going to get very far. -- RF

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Minimalism: A guide to living without and embracing a clutter-free life
A New Memoir About What Happens When You Get Rid of All Your Stuff

## Environment/health ##
More in US die from prescription narcotics than car crashes, guns, suicide
Researchers create easy, cheap way to trap bed bugs

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Hacker, creeper, soldier, spy
Matt DeHart, a former U.S. soldier seeking asylum in Canada, claims he's wanted for working with Anonymous. The U.S. says he may be a spy — and more
Not Wikileaks, Not Snowden... White House Outs CIA Station Chief
Scahill: 'Eagerly awaiting the indictment of the White House official who outed the CIA Station Chief'
Most Shocking for Last? Greenwald Teases NSA Spying "Finale"
Connected Devices as Common as Electricity by 2025
Worried about security in a world where everything is connected? You should be.
Obama Administration Spent a Fortune Monitoring Occupy Protests, including Flash Mobs and Yoga Classes
License Plate Readers Stir Controversy in California as the NYPD Prepares to Use Drones
China Condemns US for "Unscrupulous" Global Cyber-Surveillance
After long wait, Malaysia releases jet data
"It's a whole lot of stuff that is not very important to know," said Michael Exner, a satellite engineer who has been independently researching the calculations. "There are probably two or three pages of important stuff, the rest is just noise. It doesn't add any value to our understanding." He and others said the needed assumptions, algorithms and metadata to validate the investigators' conclusion were not there.
Spotify Warns That It Was Hacked

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Mindanao suffers P2.3B losses due to brownouts (Philippines)
The power shortage in Mindanao has caused billions of pesos in losses to the Gross Regional Domestic Product of the island in the last 74 days.
Israel's top general in West Bank warns: Power blackouts will lead to violence
Israel Electric Corporation threatening to cut power twice a day to different parts of the West Bank, over $458 million debt.
The 911 overhaul — a signature public safety imitative of the Bloomberg era — is years behind schedule and nearly $1 billion over budget.
Broke and Broken? The Psychological Effects of Poverty (infographic)
Clean up Detroit's blight? You'll need $2B, report says

## Japan ##
Nuclear regulator OKs plan to build underground ice wall at Fukushima plant
LDP proposes 'super regional' banks
Finance minister complains his taxes shouldn't be used to fund health costs of 'lazy'
Four-legged lawn mowers to return to Tokyo housing complex
Govt set to prepare possible MERS outbreak
Japan spends 17 billion yen for nuclear waste; price per unit triples
Japan gets first LNG cargo from Papua New Guinea
Bank of Japan Seeks to End Stimulus, Currency Market in Disbelief
Gov't to dispose of contaminated soil outside Fukushima within 30 years
Space-based power stations on the horizon
It would be expensive energy, and expensive energy is what the world doesn't need. -- RF
291 taken to hospital for heatstroke in one week

## China ##
China busts 23 'terror, religious extremism' groups: Xinhua
China's Real Estate Captain Calls Out The Titanic
Cash-hungry Chinese developers cutting bargains on homes
China's 'Golden Era' for Property Over, Vanke President Says
China central bank faces decisions as housing slump looms
China's 430 Million Families Shrink and Age
Beijing to build artificial island in South China Sea

## UK ##
Couples shun weddings for foot on property ladder, analysts say

## US ##
Retail Death Rattle Grows Louder
How much do Americans earn? Average income data for individuals and households. Stagnant income growth for American families.
Manhattan's Billionaire Row of Condo Towers Spreads South
Delaware's infrastructure is in rapid decline
Sky Could Fall on North Dakota's Oil if We're Not Careful, Shale Boss Says
Sharp rise in West Coast oil trains, fears abound
Gas Still Over $4 in Californi
Americans Watch Only 17 TV Channels
People only need so much banality. -- RF
The Housing "Recovery" in Four Charts
Median CEO pay crosses $10 million in 2013
Seven States Running Out of Water
State Tax Data Running Flat: No "Escape Velocity" Among Hard-Money Payers
"The Market's Not There" - One World Trade Center Lowers Asking Rents By 10%

And finally...
Handwritten word could be worth about $10,000

Sunday, May 25, 2014


News Links, May 24-26, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Former Bundesbank Vice-President Recommends Gold, Says Current Economic System is "Pure Fiction"
World Trade Suddenly Slumps (Just Forget 'Escape Velocity')
Recovery Watch: Global Trade Tumbles Most In 5 Years
Why Global Banking Risk Is Not Calculated, But Incalculable – and Why RBS Is a Basket-Case
Cocaine Sales to Boost Italian GDP in Boon for Budget
Italy will include prostitution and illegal drug sales in the gross domestic product calculation this year, a boost for its chronically stagnant economy and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's effort to meet deficit targets.
Sanctions will make Russia use rouble for trade: PM
In recent weeks officials have said the government is considering making it obligatory for state-owned companies to receive payment for key exports in roubles, rather than in dollars as at present.
Interest bill on UK's £1.27 trillion debt to hit £1bn a week
The Robots Are Coming, And They Are Replacing Warehouse Workers And Fast Food Employees
Amazon to Increase Robots from 1,400 to 10,000 by End of 2014; Day in the Life of a Robot
How Russian Investors Made $90 Billion After US Sanctions
Financial Times: Piketty's Data Is Full of Errors
Gold market rigging is ever more documented -- and ever more suppressed by the news media
For Love Nor Money: The Bank That Nobody Wants To Buy
The Spanish government is currently engaged in a desperate bid to offload one of the country's recently bailed out, nationalised, and supposedly now fully restored savings banks, Catalunya Caixa — the ill-fated offspring of the post-crisis merger of Caixa Catalunya with two smaller Catalonian saving banks, Caixa Terrassa and Caixa Manresa. The problem is that no one wants it.
Norway must 'prepare for life after oil'

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Ottawa weighs proposal to cut number of airline crew
The Conservative government is considering letting air operators fly with fewer flight attendants, drawing backlash from airline crews who say passenger safety is taking a back seat to corporate profits.
Airline safety: How often are there 'near-misses' in Canada?
Nigeria: Aged Aircraft, Maintenance and Air Crashes
Pilot shortage, sudden expansion strangling Japan's low-cost airlines

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Is U.S. Nuclear Weapons Strategy and Foreign Policy/Militarism Risking Nuclear War?
Putin: US Backed the 'Coup' That Now Threatens Civil War in Ukraine
Poroshenko Claims Victory in Ukraine Presidential Vote
China warns Japan, Philippines accuses China in maritime spat
China, Japan exchange barbs over action by warplanes in East China Sea
Japan and China on Sunday accused each other's air forces of dangerous behavior over the East China Sea, with Japan saying Chinese aircraft had come within a few dozen meters of its warplanes.
Thai coup leaders summon academics, journalists
Another Interventionist Disaster: Libya Is Becoming A Militarized Dystopia
Al Qaeda gunmen storm Yemeni city, 27 people killed
Most US Drone Strikes in Pakistan Attack Houses
Diamond Miners in Zimbabwe Told to Sell Gems to Central Bank as Collateral for Chinese Loans
U.S. returning non-essential military sites in Europe to host nations
Running Guns From Ukraine to Syria is Getting Complicated
Anti-Immigrant Sentiment Helps Fuel Right-Wing EU Candidates
European Voters Are Revolting; France Warns "Situation Is Grave For Europe"
Ultra-Nationalist Party Surges In Hungary
Greece's Golden Dawn to enter EU Parliament for first time
Iranian billionaire executed over $2.6B bank fraud
Al Shabaab attacks Somali parliament, at least 10 dead
China And Russia Hold "Massive" Joint Naval Drill: This Is What It Looked Like
Sarkozy wants to scrap EU border-free agreement
Striped-Pants Stupidity: The State Department's Unmitigated Fiasco In The Ukraine
Nigeria's Boko Haram kills 28 in three village attacks
This Map Shows All the Countries in Africa Where the U.S. Has Active Military Operations
Scientists create bionic particles 'inspired by Terminator'

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thai unrest spurs Honda unit to cut output and delay new plant
Hundreds defy Thai junta warning against protests
Empty Buses Show Defiance Trumps Hunger in Platinum Strike
Get out of my lane! The biggest road-rage triggers
Meet the anarchists who plan to go nuts at the World Cup
Chinese State Media Advises Citizens on How to Cope With Terror Attacks
For China's Communist Party, Stability As Usual Isn't Enough
Millions Worldwide March Against Monsanto
Vietnamese Woman Self-Immolates In Anti-China Protest

## Energy/resources ##
Strategies to Address the Energy Industry Talent Gap
With more than 50 percent of the current industry workforce eligible to retire in 2015, the energy sector desperately needs to address major gaps in workforce knowledge and experience if it is to meet its aggressive growth goals.
Iran loads 317,000 mt LPG in May to China, S.Korea, SE Asia: sources
Iran is loading eight LPG cargoes totaling 317,000 mt in May for export to Asia, the biggest monthly volume since resuming shipments in May 2013 following an eight-month halt on concerns over an EU ban on shipping insurance, shipping and trade sources said Friday.
Russia, China agree on $25 billion prepayment under supply deal: Gazprom
Gazprom CEO says gas supply deal with China may affect European prices
Are These Signs of Coal's New World Order?
Gas Rigs Slump as Pipeline Capacity Limits New Drilling
Energy-rich Gulf goes hungry for gas
Sao Paulo Faces Severe Water Shortage
For Germans, need for speed clashes with eco-friendly ideals
Putin says Russia may speed up alternative gas route to China
Putin says Ukraine "radicals" could disrupt gas flows to Europe
Ahead of its Time, Gutsy Biofuel Firm Goes Bust
As it turns out, the company's production costs were too high to compete commercially. After only four years in operation, it filed for bankruptcy and shuttered its Carthage, Mo., plant in 2009.
The great imaginary California oil boom: Over before it started
Toward a supply constrained world

## Got food? ##
Drought relief: Are victory gardens in our future?
USDA warns of sticker shock on U.S. beef as grilling season starts
'Pink Slime' Recovers as Beef Prices Surge
Contraband Venezuelan Food Pours Into Colombia's Markets
5 food additives even grosser than 'pink slime'

## Environment/health ##
Painful and rapid spread of new virus in Caribbean
Global MERS death toll passes 200-mark
Pumped up: Oil extraction may have triggered fatal earthquakes in Italy
Climate Warming Driving Native Trout to Extinction, Study Says
Arctic Ship Traffic and Oil Spill Worries Rise as Ice Recedes
How Nanotechnology Could Reengineer Us (infographic)
Nascent El Nino threatens to leave some Asian economies parched

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
New Law: Minn. Governor signs bill to ban warrantless cellphone tracking
California Senate Votes to Ban 'Material Support' to NSA
Revealed: Gov't Used Fusion Centers to Spy on Occupy
Microsoft Fights Off FBI Request For Customer Data
U.S. may act to keep Chinese hackers out of Def Con hacker event
Inside Blackshades: Hackers are watching you on infected webcams
Wikileaks reveals NSA is listening to nearly all calls in Afghanistan
Facebook Succeeds Because Deep Down, We're All Stalkers

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Must read: Thailand militarisation is symptom of accelerating global system failure
Crippling fossil fuel dependency, climate volatility, rocketing debt levels are propelling protests, radicalising the state
The Essential Role of Volatility, Stress and Dissent
On an individual level, we try to avoid exertion, stress and crisis, and on a larger systemic level, our institutions devote enormous resources to minimizing systemic volatility and suppressing dissent.
Detroit motorists under siege in 'Carjack City'
When they pull up to a gas station these days, Detroit drivers are looking beyond the price per gallon at a far more threatening concern: carjackers. The armed auto thieves have become so common here that parts of the bankrupt metropolis are referred to as "Carjack City," and many motorists fear getting out of their vehicles even for a few moments to fill a tank.
World Cup By The Numbers: A Quick Look At How Brazil Has Spent $11 Billion
World Cup 2014: Have the billions spent on the tournament helped Brazil's infrastructure - or will they simply mask its problems?
Congratulations, class of 2014: You're totally screwed
IV Shortage Hits Rural Clinics Hard (US)
Suzuki recalls 184,244 GM-built cars in US for fire risk
Toyota recalls 50,220 SUVs for seat belt problem

## Japan ##
Global Hawk deployed in Japan
Abe may get freer hand to deploy SDF in 'gray zone' incidents
The government is considering giving prime ministers a free hand in mobilizing the Self-Defense Forces to respond swiftly to "gray-zone" incidents, government sources said Sunday.
Ruling coalition meets over use of force by Japan Coast Guard
TEPCO restarts part of cleanup system
Abe administration ignored massive public opposition to nuclear power
Government shows no intention of disclosing Fukushima disaster interviews
Successive Cabinets have refused to release details of firsthand accounts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, despite an understanding by a government investigation committee that the information from 772 interviewees could be made public.
Aging pedestrian bridges being torn down across Japan: Mainichi survey
Around half of the 9,790 pedestrian bridges built over roads and managed by the national, prefectural or municipal governments are over 40 years old, and removal of these bridges is outpacing the construction of new ones, a Mainichi survey suggests.
Japan creates new national holiday for 'overworked' population
JAPEX begins shale oil drilling experiment

## China ##
China signals green light for local government bond sales in 2014 to curb debt risks
Now here's what I call a solution! -- RF
China Has A Housing Bubble In "Some Cities", PBOC Admits
Easing of property controls expected outside China's largest cities
More than 30 Chinese cities, excluding Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, plan to relax restrictions imposed on housing purchases because of the slowdown in the country's real estate market.
China Seeks Credible Data On Jobs – Analysis
In smog-choked China, a scramble for breathable air
China's state-owned sector told to cut ties with U.S. consulting firms

## UK ##
UK Launches Massive, Nuclear-Powered Submarine
Britain seeks to change land access rules to speed up shale drive
UK debt burden hangs heavy: government borrowing up £2bn last month
Britain borrowed £11.5bn in April, up 21% on last year, as interest repayments hit £1bn a week.
Return to Victorian-style hospitals to fight superbugs, experts urge
UK under fire for recruiting an 'army of children'
More than one in 10 new Army recruits are boy soldiers of just 16 years old, according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Defence. And more than one in four of all new Army recruits are under 18 – too young to be sent into combat.

## US ##
FBI chief: 'Be suspicious' of government power
Drone Killing Memo Author Confirmed as Federal Judge
David Barron, who co-authored memo authorizing drone killing of U.S. citizen, "now one step away from the Supreme Court."
Tennessee brings back the electric chair
Co-Signing a Loan is Risky Business For You, Your Family, Your Heirs, Even the Borrower: More Student Loan Debt Slave Nightmares
Gotta Keep Dancing – Trading of Penny Stocks Soars to Record on OTC Markets
America's Long, Hot, Workaholic Summer
25% of Americans saving $0 for retirement
Many Americans fear going broke in retirement
Congressional Incumbents' Reelection Rate Of 100%—Even Tops Old Soviet Politburo!
Sell-Side "Pent-Up Demand" Fantasy: Q1 Retail Profit Outlook Went From +13% to -4% (Actual) In 90 Days
Golf Market Stuck in Bunker as Thousands Leave the Sport
Once the go-to activity for corporate bonding, the sport is suffering from an exodus of players, a lack of interest among millennials and the mass closure of courses.
United States of Cash Sales: A feudal changing of the guard. 58 percent of all real-estate-owned sales went to cash buyers out flanking traditional buyers with no access to pools of cash.
7 Dead in "Mass Murder" Drive-By Shootings Near UC Santa Barbara
Social Security Threatens To Close All Field Offices
Hillary Clinton's Speaking Circuit Payday: $5 Million (and Counting)
Portland water scare: Water bottles sell out, restaurants close
North Las Vegas pursues bill that could allow municipal bankruptcies
Municipal pension crisis threatens Pennsylvania
An economic tsunami is rumbling toward Pennsylvania. Unless it can be averted, it will do great harm to communities all across the state. Many people will face massive tax increases. Others will have fewer police officers and firefighters to protect them.Retiree suit threatens to tip Flint into bankruptcy
Alleged program burns abandoned homes in the middle of the night
Two Splashed as Bottle Bomb Explodes in Theater
How hotels are getting you to spend more
Poor Americans Direct 40% of Their Spending to Housing Expenses
Housing and food expenses absorb more than half of low-income Americans' annual spending. Even the wealthiest Americans  devote a sizable share of their spending to keeping a roof over their heads and food in their refrigerators.
U.S. Retailers Missing Estimates by Most in 13 Years
Dream of U.S. energy independence was just revised away

And finally...
Russian TV mocks royals over Prince Charles likening Putin to Hitler
Cops: Man Tried to Have Sex With ATM

Thursday, May 22, 2014


News Links, May 22-23, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
The Global Path Of Fiscal Decay: A 100-Year Chart That Says It All
Not only has the global, non-defense budget balance dropped to never-before-seen levels, but it's falling along a trend line that shows no sign of flattening. The trend line spells fiscal disaster. It suggests that we've never been in a predicament comparable to today. Essentially, the world's developed countries are following the same path that's failed, time and again, in chronically insolvent nations of the developing world.
HP to cut 11,000 to 16,000 more jobs
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
China Halts US Dollar Transactions With Afghan Banks
The Collapse of the International Monetary System and the Petrodollar, Part II
Greece sells 110 of its best beaches in the name of "development"
I'm a Fiat Slave, And So Are You
Tax slavery, debt slavery, wage slavery, and fiat slavery are four methods that elites employ to extract wealth from the people. To this list we should also add their encouragement of Ponzi gambling. Ponzi asset bubbles are constantly being created and citizens are encouraged to go into debt to "cash in" on bubble profits (or get wiped out in bubble crashes). Those five methods are the major wealth extraction methods they use.
You can easily see the important role played by the "credit score" in this scheme. -- RF
This Happened Twice Before, And Each Time Stocks Crashed

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Qantas axes plans for growth as capacity war with Virgin Australia comes to an end
Etihad's secret Abu Dhabi royal family loan revealed
Etihad Airways received massive financial support from the royal family of Abu Dhabi contrary to long-standing denials, documents obtained by Fairfax Media show.
Gov't says airlines should disclose bag, seat fees
Ultimatum for Air Mekong
Yes, passengers are more squished than ever
All airlines except IndiGo and GoAir expected to post losses during FY 2014 (India)
Open Skies widens El Al loss (Israel)
Japan looks to foreign, SDF pilots to fill void at low-cost carriers

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Thai military seizes power in bloodless coup
Offensive in Libya by former Gadhafi general aimed at breaking Islamist control
U.S. Deploys 80-Man Force to Help Find Nigerian Girls
Who Needs The United States? Not Russia And China
Pakistan army starts North Waziristan ground offensive
The Battle For Africa: Chinese Investments Vs US Military

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Explosions rock market in China's violence-ridden Xinjiang region
Deadly attack in western China suggests new tactics for separatists
China calls for new security pact with Russia, Iran
China's president called Tuesday for the creation of a new Asian structure for security cooperation based on a regional group that includes Russia and Iran and excludes the United States.
No More Impunity! Communities Worldwide Protest 'Gangster Corporation' Chevron
'Not Lovin' It': Low-Wage Workers Met by Riot Police Outside McDonald's HQ

## Energy/resources ##
Maersk Drilling Chief Says Rigs Dip Could Extend To 2018
The global offshore drilling market's dip could be longer than previously expected and charter rates could take until 2017 or 2018 to recover to last year's levels, the head of Maersk Drilling said on Thursday.
Export Delusions: Why the rush to export natural gas is a fool's errand
U.S. Commerce Secretary Brings Delegation To Africa In Search Of Energy Contract
China signs 30-year deal for Russian natural gas
Japan's quest to tap the natural gas beneath the ocean floor
If you are in a hurry, just read the last paragraph. -- RF
Global Oil Demand Showing Slower Growth
China's Oil Imports From Iran Rise to Record on Condensates Use
Libya's major western oilfields remain closed
Operations closed at Norway's fourth-largest field
The sower's strategy: how to speed up the sustainable energy transition
Joint venture for Israel's Leviathan gas field dissolves
Punjab stares at blackouts over lack of coal supply (India)
Interest In Solar Energy Rises, Even In Saudi Arabia
The California Shale Bubble Just Burst
The great hype surrounding the advent of a shale gas bonanza in California may turn out to be just that: hype. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) – the statistical arm of the Department of Energy – has downgraded its estimate of the total amount of recoverable oil in the Monterey Shale by a whopping 96 percent.
Implats CEO says South Africa platinum strike could last much longer
Hot On The Heels Of Its China Breakthrough, Russia Set To Build Eight Nuclear Power Plants In Iran
US railroads to struggle with summer coal demand

## Got food? ##
Missing Calories In A Bug Out Location
The Vegetables Most Americans Eat Are Drowning In Salt And Fat
McDonald's answers 'Why doesn't your food rot?'
All About Bees: The Great Garden Pollinators

## Environment/health ##
Rio 2016 Olympics: Sailors warned over sewage-infested waters, dog carcasses and even 'human corpses' in Guanabara Bay
Reef fish lose brain power as oceans acidify
Airline Seats a Bacteria Haven
French lab shut after losing SARS virus samples
French medical authorities have ordered a prestigious laboratory to suspend its activities after it lost more than 2,000 test tubes containing the SARS respiratory virus.
Mutant virus experiments risk unleashing global pandemic, study warns
Superbugs pose graver threat than climate change: scientists
Market For Black Market Organs Expands
Mass Fish Deaths: Millions Have Been Found Dead All Over The World In The Past Month
Singapore braces for worst 'haze' as Indonesia fails to halt slash-and-burn clearances
Impact of plastics pollution in ocean to be studied

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Secrets, lies and Snowden's email: why I was forced to shut down Lavabit
For the first time, the founder of an encrypted email startup that was supposed to insure privacy for all reveals how the FBI and the US legal system made sure we don't have the right to much privacy in the first place
Philippine hackers take down 200 Chinese websites
China Bans Windows 8 From Government Computers After Leaked Warning By Germany About Backdoor To NSA
The secret relationship between Silicon Valley and the NSA
U.S. utility's control system was hacked, says Homeland Security
A sophisticated hacking group recently attacked a U.S. public utility and compromised its control system network, but there was no evidence that the utility's operations were affected, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Saying It Was Hacked, EBay Urges Users To Change Passwords
Ads on Your Fridge? Google Says it Could Happen
Data breach! U.S. tops list of victims, study shows
Smart or stupid: will our cities of the future be easier to hack?
Congress Guts Anti-NSA Spying Bill Beyond Recognition; Original Cosponsor Justin Amash Votes No
Edward Snowden Gives Wide-Ranging Interview to Brian Williams
Here come the rice-grain-sized brain implants: Stanford discovers way of beaming power to microimplants deep inside your body

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Connection Between Oil Prices, Debt Levels, and Interest Rates
GM adds 284,000 older cars as number of U.S. recalls this year hits 29
Toyota recalls 466,000 vehicles spare tire, braking issues

## Japan ##
The Sheer Lunacy Of Abenomics: The Biggest Government Borrower In The World Is Destroying Its Own Bond Market
Butter imports to ease shortage
Oi ruling may fuel anti-nuclear push
Poll shows more than 50% wish to continue working after 65
Govt thinking of authorizing PM to call forth troops on 'gray zone' situations
SDF drill simulates retaking island
Amami-Oshima top candidate to host new SDF unit
Japan's Fukushima operator begins groundwater release to ocean

## China ##
China's Immense Property Overhang: Even Goldman Sees Big Downturn Straight Ahead
Xinjiang attack highlights China's ethnic powder keg
China stockpiles oil at record rate amid global tensions

## UK ##
Shelter: 4,000 English households risk losing homes every week
More than 4,000 households in England are at risk of losing their home every week amid high housing costs and a shortage of affordable homes, according to the charity Shelter.
Fracking planned for Tory heartlands as report reveals billions of barrels of shale oil in southern England
Report to show vast potential for shale oil in the South as ministers unveil planned law change to allow fracking under homes without owners' permission
The £100 billion tax-free 'shadow economy'

## US ##
The Hollow Recovery: Rebound For The Top 20% Of Households; Wage Stagnation And Welfare For The Rest
Leverage in PE Deals Soar Despite Fed Warnings; Amidst Insatiable Demand for Risky Fannie Mae Debt
27 Huge Red Flags For The U.S. Economy
Cleaner air could mean higher electric bills
The Keynesian Economy In One Chart: Peak Real Median Income In USA=1999; 30 States=2004 Or Earlier; Washington DC=2012
Geithner Uses Voodoo Economics to Try to Rationalize Choosing Banks Over American Homeowners
'Incarceration if you're poor, payment if you're rich': Reports warn of debtors' prisons
A Tale of Two Charts (and Two Economies)
These divergent stories are possible because the data supports two parallel universes: one in which the booming market is held up as evidence the overall economy is expanding to everyone's benefit, and the other a manipulated market that has expanded not as a reflection of growth but of a staggering loss of purchasing power of the U.S. dollar and a central bank transfer of wealth from the many to the few who own the majority of financial assets.
Booming Retail Sales Hide A Terrible Problem in America
The gains are driven by the Fed's free printed money stuffed into the trading accounts of Primary Dealers who then lend nearly free money to their hedge fund customers. Meanwhile both of them extract massive rents from that system and spend some of that in US retail stores.
Introducing "Subprime Business Lending" – Loans with 125% Interest Rates Are Being Securitized and Sold to Investors
Sign of the Times? More Towns Warned They Could Run Out of Drinking Water
Detroit not alone, expect more bankrupt cities: Expert
New Jersey economic comeback? Fuhgeddaboudit!
War on the Poor: Poor People Can Pay Twice After Committing A Crime
Existing Home Sales "Rebound": Headline Hype vs. Reality
The Perverse Impact Of ZIRP: Old People Keep Working, Young People Live In Their Basement
The US Shale Oil Miracle Disappears
California takes first step toward curtailing water rights
House Rejects Measure to End War on Terror
Poll: 47% of Unemployed Have 'Completely Given Up' Looking for a Job
Planned Homeland Security headquarters, long delayed and over budget, now in doubt

And finally...
Hamster butts are the latest adorable animal trend

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