Monday, June 23, 2014

 

News Links, June 21-23, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Buying Up the Planet: Out-of-control Central Banks on a Corporate Buying Spree
The Global Corporatocracy Is Nearing Completion
Real weekly earnings were $825 in 1973. Today they are $690.
Canada's Inflation Rate Overshoots BoC's Target As Energy Prices Soar
Canary In A Handbag: Why Coach Hit The Skids
Russia develops its own chip technology for national payment card
Run on Corpbank prompts Bulgarian central bank to seize control

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Europe's regional airports struggling
Overall, some 44 per cent of Europe's airports are making losses and the industry's average rate of return on invested capital (ROIC) is five per cent.
Security Fee on Airline Tickets May Be Increasing
May airfares up 6 percent, highest rise for 15 years
Berlin's Ill-Fated Airport Faces Insolvency
Iraq crisis: Airlines stare at 4% hike in fuel bills
NBAA: Congress Must Support Airports Both Big and Small

## Iraq ##
White House confirms airstrikes on ISIS targets possible outside Iraq
Kurdish Peshmerga Fight Endless Stream of ISIS Militants in Iraq
Militants seize Iraq border post, kill 30 troops
Russia Reignites The Proxy War: Putin Offers "Complete Support" To Iraq Prime Minister Scorned By Obama
Key Iraqi refinery under siege by militants likely to be captured
Iraq militants take Syria border post in drive for caliphate
Inside Baghdad's Shia slum of Sadr City: 'We can deal with Isis ourselves'
US, ISIS, and Shi'ite Clergy Agree: Maliki Must Go
Maliki's Days in Power Numbered as Iran and US Lose Faith
Obama has demanded more 'effective' leadership and Iran looks set to follow as Isis militants threaten Baghdad
In Iraq, 'ghost soldiers' are no match for ISIS fighters
Hurried flight of Iraqi soldiers from battle is more understandable if you consider that a lot of them are only on the roster to pad their commanders' pockets.
Iraqi Military Out of Hellfires in Battle Against ISIS
Iraq insurgents capture fourth town in Anbar
ISIS fighters control much of Iraq's western border after seizing three more towns
Ahmed Chalabi makes comeback
ISIS Militants Seize Iraqi Border Crossings With Jordan and Syria
Key Shi'ite Cleric Warns US: We'll Resist Return of Occupiers

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Global Refugee Population Surging Amid Conflicts, Persecution: U.N.
Russia Puts Its Troops On 'Full Combat Alert'
China sends four oil rigs to South China Sea amid regional tensions
$3.3 trillion defense contract bonanza since 9/11 (US)
UN says 10.8 million Syrians need humanitarian aid
US threatens 'scalpel' sanctions on Russia if it fails to de-escalate Ukraine crisis
Ukrainian Independence Supporters Seize 221 Tanks From the Obama-Installed Government
Presbyterian Church Votes to Divest From Occupation-Profiting Companies
Taliban attacks NATO air base in east Afghanistan
Report: Over 400 Military Drones Have Crashed Since 2001
U.S. sanctions net snares the innocent, burdens business
New horsepower for war zones: Special Forces saddle up
Military forces will be using a lot more horses in the future. -- RF
Polish foreign minister says Poland's relationship with the US 'isn't worth anything'
"It is downright harmful, because it creates a false sense of security. Complete bullshit. We'll get in conflict with the Germans, Russians and we'll think that everything is super, because we gave the Americans a blow job. Losers. Complete losers."
At least 20 killed in tribal clashes in Kenya: police
Equipped with Humvees, ISIL clashes with rivals in Syria
Beware ISIL, Iran's Rouhani warns 'petrodollar' states
Rouhani did not name any country, but officials and media in mainly Shiite Iran have hinted that insurgents from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are being financially and militarily supported by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Tyler Cowen Is Full Of It: Wars Do Not Stimulate Wealth; They Destroy It And Kill Millions
Israeli Air Strikes Pound Multiple Syrian Army Sites

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Chinese police shoot dead 13 attackers in Xinjiang
Police shot dead 13 attackers in China's restive Xinjiang region after they rammed a car into a police station and detonated explosives, the official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday, in the latest of a series of attacks to worry Beijing.
Taxi Drivers Protest Ride-Sharing Businesses
Talk of 'Third Intifada' Rises as West Bank Tensions Boil
Russell Brand Calls On 50,000 Protesters To Stage 'Joyful Revolution' (UK)
Fresh austerity protests hit Portugal
Albuquerque Protesters Put Police Chief 'On Trial'
Jindal Says 'Rebellion Brewing' Against Washington
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal on Saturday night accused President Barack Obama and other Democrats of waging wars against religious liberty and education and said that a rebellion is brewing in the U.S. with people ready for "a hostile takeover" of the nation's capital.

## Energy/resources ##
Shale revolution: The Real Reason Shell Halted Its Ukrainian Shale Operations
Royal Dutch Shell has blamed air strikes by the government in Kiev against its own citizens in southern Ukraine as the reason it decided to declare a halt to its shale oil projects in the troubled region. In reality, the truth may be closer to the fact that company is disappointed with the economic viability of what it once thought was a large shale deposit and is looking for a way out.
Water shortage shuts Coca-Cola plant in India
Higher U.S. natgas price needed to boost shale growth -economist
The prospect of cheap natural gas prices fueling an industrial renaissance in the United States is at odds with the needs of gas producers, an energy economist said this week.
For those who hadn't noticed, energy-savvy people have been saying this from the outset. -- RF
Norway would only help EU with gas crisis if price right
Non-EU nation Norway will only help the European Union with any supply crisis caused by the Russia-Ukraine gas price dispute if it makes commercial sense, officials told a meeting called in Brussels on Friday to address energy security.
Brownouts, high power rates still haunt PHL despite Epira (Philippines)
Solar energy can't kill old-school electric utilities: It's too expensive, and utilities have too many advantages
Asia soaking up US displaced oil

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Metal thieves targeting utility poles

## Got food? ##
Heavy rains flood U.S. farmers' fields, raise river levels
Heavy rains across the northern U.S. Midwest this week flooded corn and soybean fields, damaging crops, and raised river levels which could slow some grain shipments by barge for the next two weeks.
The unsustainability of organic farming
This article is a pile of organic fertilizer. Industrialized agriculture, owing to its reliance on ever-more-costly fossil fuels and on poisonous chemicals, is hardly sustainable. And the argument that a too-heavy load of nitrate means organic agriculture is unsustainable is misleading. Organic or not, it means people are applying more fertilizer than needed. For example, I would venture to say that virtually all the nutrients flowing from the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico are from chemical fertilizers. So that is a specious argument. Organic is the only way to go, because in the future it will be all we've got. -- RF
The Energetic Evolution of the US Food System
Industrialized agriculture has always been touted as highly efficient, but in terms of energy input per calorie of food produced, nothing could be farther from the truth. This is sustainable? -- RF 
Soaring mercury takes a toll on poultry units (India)
Thirsty West: The End of the Road
Cheap food at supermarkets risks the demise of our farms (UK)
Asia's love of nuts is draining California dry
Score one for vegetarians — meat prices are surging in Canada
10 things snack food companies won't tell you

## Environment/health ##
Ebola Outbreak 'Tip of the Iceberg,' Experts Say
An "out of control" outbreak of Ebola in West Africa that's being called the deadliest ever is far from over and it's likely to get worse before it gets better, experts predict.
Ebola virus kills eighth person in two weeks in Monrovia, Liberia
CDC Says More Workers Potentially Exposed To Live Anthrax
What Is Worse, An Older Population Or Running Out Of Resources?
What's up with the wild extremes of weather?

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Cyberattacks disrupt Hong Kong democracy drive
Report: Chinese phone comes preloaded with spyware
House Passes Landmark Amendment To Stop Warrantless NSA Searches
ISIS, opponents wage hashtag war on Twitter
Polish authorities raid magazine office over leaked recordings
News Outlets: Public Must See 'What Is Done in Their Name at Gitmo'
Sixteen news oganizations file motion to release video evidence of forcible cell extractions, force-feedings of Guantanamo prisoner
New Emails Show That Feds Instructed Police To Lie About Using Stingray Mobile Phone Snooping
Facebook's power outage costs company $500,000
As hobby drone use increases, so do concerns about privacy, security
Networks vs. Hierarchies: Which Will Win? Niall Furguson Weighs In
ABA: Lawyers can scour jurors' social media sites
US Media Restricted at Border, Federal Agent Cites Safety Concerns
Cybersecurity Skills Shortage Poses Threat in Singapore

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Next 20 Years Will Not Be Like the Last 20 Years--Here's Why
The Status Quo is not sustainable. Here are some resources on the many reasons why.
The Dead-End Of Financialization: Innovation Is Slumping For A Reason
'Middle of food chain matters' Pennsylvania taking temperatures of trucks hauling food
Breakdown of the cold chain. The more energy costs rise, the more perishable food will be unrefrigerated. -- RF
Car industry struggles to solve air bag explosions
Shortage Of Saline Solution Has Hospitals On Edge
How A Country Dies
Labor Shortages, Geopolitical Chess Matches, and the Catalyst for Another Crash

## Japan ##
Japanese farmers, seeking cause of post-Fukushima cattle disease, bring cow to Tokyo
This video (in Japanese) shows the farmers making their demands with bovine in tow. -- RF
Governing party considers tax on cellphones
Methane hydrate deposits probable in Sea of Japan
It will be a money-loser, like shale gas. -- RF
Pension Money Already Flowing In To Prop Up Japan's Stocks
Japan eyes greater support for U.S. forces in contingencies

## China ##
10,000 Chinese steel traders defaulting on credit card debt
More than 10,000 owners of Chinese steel trade firms are behind on credit card payments with several billion yuan involved, and banks in Ningde in southeastern China's Fujian province are giving discounts to help debtors pay back what they owe, Guangzhou's Time Weekly reports.
13 shot dead after attacking police in west China
After port fraud, China's vast warehouse sector under scrutiny
Shaken by a fraud investigation into metal financing in the world's seventh-busiest port, banks and trading houses have been made painfully aware of the risks they face storing commodities in China's sprawling warehouse sector.

## UK ##
Millions given to model councils tackling the 'menace' of potholes on Britain's roads
Purchasing homes along HS2 route has cost taxpayer £90 million
Taxpayers have already spent £90 million on 150 homes to clear the way for the railway, a figure experts warn is just the "tip of the iceberg".
New Government cuts could see a million state jobs go
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
Anti-austerity protesters gather
TUC report: Job prospects for young people are deteriorating 'alarmingly'

## US ##
Inflation? Only If You Look At Food, Water, Gas, Electricity And Everything Else
Chinese billionaire invites 1,000 poor Americans to charity lunch in Central Park
Ex-NSA Chief Keith Alexander is Now Pimping Advice to Wall Street Banks for $1 Million a Month
Nearly all Supreme Court justices are millionaires
Gov't moves to ban drones in 400 national parks
From A Stream To A Flood: Migrant Kids Overwhelm U.S. Border Agents
Apartments fill as rental demand keeps on surging
Housing Market Falters Amid Rising Prices, Lower-Paying Jobs
It's Official: The Boomerang Kids Won't Leave
The Stench Of Crony Capitalist Corruption At GM
Some bailed-out banks don't have to make good on the money they still owe US taxpayers
Energy costs a potential threat to bull market
"Real" and "Unreal" Wages; Five Decades of Middle Class Decline in Pictures
Real weekly earnings were $825 in 1973. Today they are $690.
How Americans Spend Their Day: Less Work, More Sleep And TV
Hillary Clinton: Her family is not like the 'truly well off'
This is just so sad. I shall pray for the Clintons tonight. -- RF
Obama's Forked-Tongue Budgetary Double-Shuffle: The $5 Billion Counter-Terrorism Fund To Save Iraq Is Just Loot From The OCO Scam
Immigration Control? Hundreds Of Bodies Found In Mass Grave In Texas
The United States of drought
Detective Rocky Pipkin is finding agricultural crime to be a fertile field
Crooks are stealing anything they can grab: fuel from wind machines, copper from water pumps, crops and animal feed. Even tractors are being stolen.




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