Sunday, May 04, 2014


News Links, May 3-5, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Euro Unemployment Holds Near Record Amid Factory Gains
Contrary to the Media Spin, Greece Keeps on Sinking
Speculative fever is back to 2008, with compound interest
Even Big Hedge Fund Calls BS On Draghi's Euro-Fix—Not Remotely Sustainable
Beijing suspected of hiding US$700bn in US bonds
BP to cut 30 percent of IT staff in upstream business: source
The Last Two Times This Happened, The Stock Market Crashed
Big Banks Started Laundering Massive Sums of Drug Money In the 1980s … And Are Still Doing It Today
GoldCore Reports Half of Italy's Gold is Held in New York Fed Vault; Is Repatriation Possible?
Canadian Silver Maple Leaf Sales Shatter All Records
Out of control inflation hits 9.2pc (Pakistan)
The Perilous China-Driven Commodity Boom: Vale Has Spent $50 Billion On CapEx Since 2008 And The Iron Ore Glut Is Just Beginning
Informal economy fast taking over (Zimbabwe)
China Slowdown Weighs on Indonesia's Export Outlook, Basri Says
'Dark Wallet' Is About to Make Bitcoin Money Laundering Easier Than Ever
Thaksinomics sink under the rise of pork barrel spending (Thailand)
China-led project to start regional bank snubs Japan, India
China is snubbing Japan and India from its initiative to establish a regional bank next year for infrastructure projects in Asia although 15 other Asian nations, including South Korea, are set to participate.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
United cancelling direct flights to Denver
United Airlines will be cancelling it's direct flights from Fort McMurray to Denver, less than a year after the company began the service. Jesse Meyer, a Fort McMurray Airport spokesperson, said the company cited poor advanced ticket sales and performance expectations not being met as their reason. The route's last flight is May 31, 2014.
Porter Airlines to charge $25 for first checked bag, starting with May 14 flights
For the aristocracy: Mideast airline Etihad offers bed and bath suites

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
NATO's Eastern Members Seek Bases to Deter Russian Threat
NATO's newer eastern members are pushing to have alliance forces stationed permanently in their nations, a move at odds with a 1997 understanding with Russia that limits NATO bases on Russia's periphery.
Ukrainian unrest spreads; dozens dead in Odessa
Ukraine nationalists rally to commemorate Nazi SS division
Obama's New Gang Of Rabble In Kiev
Dozens Of CIA, FBI Agents "Advising Ukraine Government", German Press Reports
Obama Calls Coup Government in Kiev "Duly Elected" (video)
Ukraine crisis: we are now at war with pro-Russia rebels, states Kiev
At least 41 die in Ukraine, deadliest day in weeks of conflict
Civil War in Ukraine (But Please Don't Call it That!)
Ukrainian army attacks eastern cities of Mariupol, Konstantinovka
Ukraine: Pro-Russia Crowd Surrounds Police Station In Odessa
Germany calls for second Geneva meeting on Ukraine
Russia to cut gas to Ukraine in June if no prepayment received
Europe must increase defence spending in face of Russian aggression, warns Chuck Hagel
If Russia goes over the economic cliff, it won't go alone
Nordea Warns Of EU Recession And $150 Oil If Russia Retaliates
The Stupid Empire: Washington Gives Away The Tribute And Gains No Security Benefit For The American People
Violence Still Rising: 2,034 Killed in Iraq in April
S. Arabia Unveils Chinese Ballistic Missiles during its Largest Military Parade
China, Russia Military Ties Deepen With Naval Drill in East China Sea
India deploys army in Assam after 31 Muslims killed
Russian bombers, fighter jets spotted in the sky above Crimea
Iraq: Government Blocking Residents Fleeing Fighting
PLA may build airfield on disputed South China Sea island

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Bombs, protests hit Egypt in run-up to presidential election
Condoleezza Rice cancels Rutgers speech as students protest her role in Iraq
Cambodian police clash with taunting demonstrators

## Energy/resources ##
Germany's Green Energy Revolution May Be on Verge of Failure
In Germany, wind, solar and other "environmentally friendly" forms of energy production were mandated without regard to cost factors. But it is impossible to long continue to generate energy when the process itself is not efficient. In other words, if the creation of energy is in the long term more expensive than the goods and services being produced, the entire effort is doomed to failure. Rather than being sustainable, the process ITSELF will be unsustainable. And that is the position in which Germany now apparently finds itself.
For all the hoopla about renewables and grid parity, the reality is that, no matter where you look, there is no cheap energy any more. Even if it were possible to sustain industrial society on renewables (which it's not), society could not possibly afford to invest enough energy to build that much renewable-energy infrastructure because it would take away too much energy from that needed for day-to-day economic activities. -- RF
China, Japan, South Korea gulp down 62% of global LNG production
Amid Chaos, Russian Billionaire Launches Giant Iraqi Oilfield
In mid March, Russian oil giant Lukoil celebrated the start up of the West Qurna-2. The Iraqi oilfield, located near the southern city of Basra at the intersection of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, was quite likely the world's biggest untapped field, with recoverable oil reserves believed to be in the neighborhood of 20 billion barrels.
Proven Reserves, IOCs and Other News
Turkey says ready to facilitate sales of Kurdish oil
California city looks to sea for water in drought
Side deals with Moscow thwart drive to wean Europe off Russian gas
Swedish support for nuclear power wanes

## Got food? ##
Cornfields Could Yield Less by Midcentury
Cartels and organised crime target food in hunt for riches
From adulterated olive oil to counterfeit vodka, the trade in fake food is booming – and for mafia gangs it's less risky than drugs

## Environment/health ##
CDC confirms first case of MERS virus in American
Remember Life Before Antibiotics? No? Wait, It'll Come to You
Diabetes rates skyrocket in kids and teens (US)
Deadly Virus Sparks French Ban On Live Pigs From U.S.
'Vampire therapy' could reverse ageing, scientists find

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Obama Administration Launches Plan to Make an "Internet ID" a Reality
Consumer Concerns over Govt Spying Fueling Industry Defiance
In the post-Snowden era, companies are now competing for customers based on their ability to protect private information from the government's spying eyes
NATO Countries Planning Comms Mission in Ukraine
Largest ever cyber wargame tests Europe's defences
Robert Gates' Vendetta: Why Poppy Bush Gave Iran's Moderates The Back Of His Hand
Voice Recording From Missing Flight MH370 Was Edited
The New York TImes Goes Deep In The Tank For Obama's Ukrainian Folly
Everything that the Times writes about Ukraine is so polluted with propaganda that it requires a very strong filter, along with additives from more independent news sources, to get anything approaching an accurate understanding of events.
Artificial intelligence could end mankind: Hawking
Why You Should Be Concerned About The New 'Smart Guns' (Whether You Love Or Hate Guns)
Google is sued for abuse of market power
How secure is your baby monitor? What can happen when the 'Internet of Things' gets hacked
Google Glass Parts Cost Only $80

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Skyrocketing Prison Population Devastating US Society: Report
National Research Council report documents severe costs to communities, families, and society
Biggest infrastructure needs, by state (US)
Gated communities fuel Blade Runner dystopia and 'profound unhappiness'
UN-Habitat chief Joan Clos warns segregated housing may breed hostility, and calls for leaders to tackle urban inequality

## Japan ##
Japan Prepares to Enter the Arms Market
Nuclear Experts Raise Concerns Over Giant 'Ice Wall' at Fukushima
Things That Make You Go Hmmm... Like Is Japan Totally F##ked?
I can tell you from first-hand experience that nothing is getting better here ("better" in the sense that most people mean). Prices are higher, but incomes are not. Abenomics, like QE and everything else governments are trying, is just a time-buying device. Governments are trying to revive their moribund economies, but actually they have no idea what to do, so they come up with ways to buy time. Truly, duct tape would do just as well. There's one other thing I want to comment on here. We are told that Japan, like a number of other countries, has a demographics problem. The population is aging. There aren't enough people to work and pay into the pension system. So they should liberalize immigration laws and bring in more working people. Etc., etc. This coming from the great economic minds of our era. But this is drivel. Net energy is declining before our eyes. The solution, we are told, is more investment, more drilling, more tax breaks, more subsidies, more money printing, more incentives. But no matter what we do, energy just keeps costing more. It's because of this that economies are hitting the skids, and moving ever closer to contraction territory. That means fewer jobs, not more. It makes sense to want fewer mouths to feed. So smart governments — those that have a handle on the future — will welcome population decrease, and do everything possible to let their industrial economies decline as gracefully as possible. But let's have no illusions. There aren't many smart governments on the planet. Instead they will try to keep the current system going, which will result in a hard landing (i.e., collapse). Have a nice day! -- RF
Number of children in Japan declines for 33rd year in a row
Good news for the Earth and Japan, bad news for brain-dead "growth" advocates. -- RF
Holiday travelers dealt blow from rising gas prices in Japan
Fukushima evacuation split 50% of families: survey
Japanese complain about 'unfair' price increases after sales tax bump

## China ##
China Real Estate Mogul Outs Emerging Apartment Crash:Y/Y Sales Down 13%, 21% And 36% During Jan-March In Top 27 Markets
Securities Companies Take a Leap Into Shadow Banking
Beijing's Efforts To Slow Credit Bubble Will End in Catastrophic Fail
PLA prepares border plan for North Korean collapse
China has formed numerous special teams as part of an emergency plan to deal with the aftermath of a potential collapse of North Korea's political regime, reports the Tokyo-based Kyodo News.

## UK ##
'Property millionaires club' to reach 500,000 this year
Overheating? London sets record with $237 million apartment sale
US weather hits price of your Sunday roast
Britons suffer 'unprecedented' fall in real wages
British workers have suffered an "unprecedented" decline in real wages over the past six years, with the average employee £2,000 worse off since the financial crisis hit, according to new research.

## US ##
"Operation Choke Point" harmful to flow of commerce
GM's fate in hands of bankruptcy judge - again
US to build 2 gasoline reserves in Northeast
Poor Falling Further Behind the Rest of Americans, Study Says
As Ranks Of Low-Paid, College-Educated Mal-Employed Grows To 36%, Pew Asks: Is College Worth It?
About that jobs report...maybe it wasn't so great
Almost 3 Times As Many People DROPPED OUT of Labor Force As Joined It
The Number Of Working Age Americans Without A Job Has Risen By 27 MILLION Since 2000
We Spent $3.2 Trillion… and Haven't Put a DENT in REAL Unemployment
Inside The April Jobs Report: The Plummeting Participation Rate Is Now In Uncharted Territory
The Unmasking Cometh: Busted Bubbles Always Expose Inflated GDP And Phony Accounting Profits
Officials to hold largest security drill in Boston's history
Miami's Poor Live on $11 a Day as Boom Widens Wealth Gap
Lower-wage industries make up half of annual job gains
The glory days of American manufacturing are not coming back: Steven Rattner
The new housing crunch: A labor shortage
For the aristocracy: How the 1% roll at the Kentucky Derby
Corporate ownership of Iowa farms jumps 11% in 5 years

And finally...
Want to seem smart? Add a middle initial to your name
Fake government busted in China
World leaders take note: Pinocchio would have broken neck after 13 lies
Science students at the University of Leicester have found that Pinocchio could only have told 13 lies before the weight of his nose would have caused his neck to break

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