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

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