Tuesday, June 24, 2014

 

News Links, June 24-25, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
The Baltic Dry Index Is Down 60% Year-To-Date; Worst On Record
Sovereign debt the 'ultimate bubble'
Are Asian households over their head in debt?
It's Official – German Gold is Staying in New York at The Federal Reserve
Head Of German Gold Repatriation Initiative Responds To Bloomberg Story About Repatriation Halt
Germany Still Wants Gold Back – Repatriation Campaign Continues
French Private Sector Contracts Second Month; Eurozone Composite Growth Weakest in 6-Months
Investment Bank: The End Of US Economic Growth
Global infrastructure, capital spending to hit $9 trillion by 2025: study
Bubble Finance At Work: After 2-Year Growth Stall, Open Table Goes For 112X
Don't Buy Dubai - From IPO Bubble To Bear Market In 2 Months
Cosmetics maker Avon Products to cut about 600 jobs
BHP looks to cut thousands of jobs from its iron ore division in WA
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
Corporate America is taking out life insurance on its employees so companies can profit from workers' deaths
Russia, France may opt to use RMB for global transactions
Australia PM Introduces Bill To Repeal Carbon Tax
Aging Australians Balk at World's Oldest Retirement Age

## Airline Death Spiral ##
When it comes to airline fees, Delta, United collect the most
Close encounters on rise as small drones gain in popularity
Oil price turbulence hits European airlines
Norway mulls divesting from SAS Scandinavian Airlines
Will India Privatize Air India?
Qantas Town Hall meeting hears of $720 million group loss
Robin Hood Airport loses a third of its passengers
Spain's crisis: Noisy helicopters, silent airports
During the boom years Spain, with the help of EU cash injections, built airports all over the place, but now most of them lack the passenger numbers necessary to be profitable. Many, like Huesca, are no longer used at all by commercial airlines.

## Iraq ##
Anti-U.S. Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr Retakes Stage Amid Iraq Turmoil
ISIS's victories may win it recruits from rival Syrian rebel groups
More Details on Warnings Kurds Gave U.S. About ISIS
Iraq crisis: the country is facing imminent break up say Western diplomats
Militants Take Control of Iraq's Largest Oil Refinery
US Drones Strike ISIS Targets BBC Reports; Pentagon Denies

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Vietnam offers Russia port priority in move against China: Global Times
Poland's president says US still an important ally
NATO to establish Trust Fund for Ukraine's defense potential
As costs rise, Israeli settlements face questions at home
Condemned by U.S. and European allies as illegal obstacles to peace with the Palestinians, settlements face a new wave of hostility within Israel - from taxpayers who suspect the state of handing on their money by the back door to a vocal minority.
Flights delayed by PLA drills in East China Sea
Austria signs Russian pipeline deal, hosts rare Putin visit
Austria gave its final approval to a controversial Russian gas pipeline project on Tuesday, defying EU officials and welcoming Russian President Vladimir Putin to the neutral country that has been a long-standing energy customer for Moscow.
Israel arrests 37 in West Bank; Palestinian deaths alarming: UN
Pakistan Aircraft Fired on While Landing, One Woman Killed
A female passenger was killed and two flight attendants were injured when a Pakistan International Airlines plane came under fire while landing in the country's northwestern city of Peshawar.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Tens of thousands march in London against coalition's austerity measures
Opponents of Thai military regime launch campaign for democracy

## Energy/resources ##
As global disorder spreads, the oil investment tap dries up
Gazprom strategy: swapping dollar bonds for gas pipelines
Iraq upheaval threatens oil development plans
Iran can make up for Iraqi oil, minister says
Russia, Iran nuclear contract imminent
Shrinkage: Kiev doubles the price of cold water, shuts off hot water
Power outage leaves parts of Rio in darkness
Nigerians groan as power generation drops by 1,100MW
Coal crunch hits power generation in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana
In Wyoming, Going Deep To Draw Energy From Coal
The United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal. The only catch is that U.S. coal is buried too deep for conventional mining.
Germany ups new green energy surcharge on industry to meet EU rules
Indian power sector faces $27 bln in annual losses - World Bank
U.S. Oil Dependence Moves From OPEC to Canada
Two-Thirds of India Solar-Cell Production Idle: Ministry

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Night patrols to stop cable theft 'catastrophe' (South Africa)

## Got food? ##
Insecticides put world food supplies at risk, say scientists
The world's most widely used insecticides have contaminated the environment across the planet so pervasively that global food production is at risk, according to a comprehensive scientific assessment of the chemicals' impacts.
More on the unsustainability of industrial agriculture. -- RF
How to Buy Farmland, Even if You Think You Can't
Rain Drowns Crops in Drenched Midwest
The Next Generation of GM Crops Has Arrived—And So Has the Controversy

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Low tech: Well-Tended Fires Outperform Modern Cooking Stoves

## Environment/health ##
More of California experiencing most severe drought conditions
Oil from BP spill slowing one of ocean's fastest fish: scientists
206 Million Pounds of Toxic Chemicals Dumped into America's Waterways
Welcome to the New Warm Normal: Global Temps Break Another Record
Ebola epidemic unprecedented in West Africa, medical aid group says
Report: World's Oceans on Brink of Collapse
Pesticides threaten birds and bees alike: study
Climate Forecast: A Heat More Deadly Than the U.S. Has Ever Seen
Venomous trap-jaw ants spread along US Gulf Coast 'without anyone noticing'

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The US Military Now Has X-Ray Guns
More Foreign Governments Provide NSA with Support for Global Data Surveillance
New sensors will scoop up 'big data' on Chicago
Hacking the World: Map Shows Global Cyberattacks Happening in Real Time
Over 300,000 servers still vulnerable to Heartbleed
U.S. Funds "Terror Studies" to Dissect and Neutralize Social Movements
Since the meltdown of 2008, U.S. universities have collaborated with the Pentagon to study dynamics of social movements, worldwide. The goal of "terrorism studies" is "to find possible vectors of resistance, which are to be identified and eradicated, like a disease." The Minerva Initiative, like NSA spying, sees the entire planet as "enemy territory."
US Embassy In Berlin Offering Cold, Hard Cash For People To Create Pro-TAFTA/TTIP Propaganda
Intel working on RFID-based 'kill switch' for laptops
Google Glass Snoopers Can Steal Your Passcode With a Glance
Containers 'filled with Swiss bank data seized in Germany'

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Why Standard Economic Models Don't Work–Our Economy is a Network
Honda, Mazda expand recalls over Takata airbag problem
In just six months, automakers pass recall record
The Death of the American Mall
A Haunting Look Inside Some of America's Abandoned Shopping Malls
According to CBS, no new indoor mall has been built in America since 2006 and at least one expert predicts that half of all existing malls will close within the next 10 years.
However, these articles fail to see that expensive oil is the major factor underlying the demise of the mall. -- RF
Nearly Half Of Detroit Water Customers Can't Pay Their Bill
How Aging Trucks Could Doom Nationwide Mail Delivery (US)
Decline and Fall: the end of empire and the future of democracy in 21st century America (book review)

## Japan ##
Disappearing gas stations (article in Japanese)
Owing to factors including rising fuel prices, increased taxes, aging proprietors, the high cost of renovating facilities (mainly the replacement of leaking underground tanks), and declining fuel consumption, since 1997 Japan has been losing gas stations at a pace of over 1,000 per year. Some rural areas now have hardly any gas stations left. Here we can see part of the collapse of the oil-based transportation system. -- RF
Japan's Parliament Begins Debate on Introducing Casinos
Tax cuts, dance hall deregulation aim to set Japan swinging
Getting the populace to dance and gamble more will boost the economy! -- RF
Abe's 'drill bit' hits resistance on Japan labor reform
Record Stock Buybacks: First In The US, Now In Japan
Japan Pension Funds Quicken Pace of JGB Sales in Quest for Yield
Japan Unveils 'World's First' Android Newscaster
Abe aims for early pact on easing curbs on military
800,000 vehicles recalled for Takata airbag defect
Japan Growth Strategy Sidesteps High Energy Price Issue
Heavy electricity users such as silicon and special alloy makers have been vocal about their pains. "This is a life or death moment for our domestic operations. A number of companies have already closed down, gone bankrupt, or decided to go overseas and cut staff," 11 associations of manufacturers said in a joint statement in late May.
Oil facilities face serious liquefaction risk in Tokai, Kansai, Tokyo
Government estimates all Fukushima areas safe for living by 2021

## China ##
Beijing's overhauls get short shrift
Long-term economic overhauls that China's leadership promised are taking a back seat to short-term needs as Beijing wrestles with a slowing economy and a foot-dragging bureaucracy.
'Major, major' housing bubble is Achilles' heel of Chinese economy
China to experiment with reverse mortgages for elderly
The Chinese government will launch next month a reverse-mortgage pilot program that will allow senior citizens in four cities to borrow against their homes to pay for living expenses.
That's great news! Now the Chinese too can use their homes as ATMs! -- RF

## UK ##
Russell Brand calls upon thousands for "peaceful, effortless, joyful revolution"
More street lights to be turned off in Shropshire to save energy
Britons' social lives sending them into debt, study finds

## US ##
The Generational Short Part 2: Who Will Boomers Sell Their Stocks To?
Ni hao, y'all: US hinterlands woo Chinese firms
California Could Soon Run Out of Water
Water war bubbling up between California and Arizona
Advocates of splitting California into six states gathering signatures
Pennsylvania Instructed Its Employees to Ignore Residents Sickened by Drilling
Memo outlines justification for drone strikes on citizens
Houston, a bright spot in U.S. economy, frets about labor shortage
Only one in three Americans has emergency savings
Low wage growth, high household expenses and student loan repayments are making it very difficult for Americans to prioritize emergency savings.
About Those "Upbeat" May Existing Home Sales: Down 5% Y/Y; Up Only In $1Million+ Bucket
Bridges Crumble as Muni Rates at Least Since '60s Ignored
Across the U.S., localities are refraining from raising new funds in the $3.7 trillion municipal-bond market after the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression left them with unprecedented deficits. Rather than take advantage of Federal Reserve (FDTR) policy that's held benchmark interest rates at historic lows since December 2008, they're repaying obligations by the most on record.
Consume, Conform, Obey: What Homeland Security's Targeting Of Anti-Consumerist Activities Says About The Government's Desires
Hillary Clinton Has Got To Be Joking – This Is What 'Dead Broke' Actually Looks Like…
The Fed's Hobson's Choice: End QE and Zero-Interest Rates or Destabilize the Dollar and the Treasury Market
Though the Fed is doing its best to mask its abject failure and lack of choices with public relations, the reality is it has no choice but to taper and eventually end its endless spew of credit and its unprecedented and destabilizing purchases of assets.
Report: Militarization of Police Turning Communities into 'War Zones'
Best democracy money can buy: Politicians For Sale? There's An App For That
The Social Security cash crunch Congress can't ignore
The trust fund for Social Security disability benefits, which is separate from the fund for retirement benefits, is on track to be insolvent -- most likely by the end of 2016 but no later than 2017.

And finally...
22 firefighters rescue student trapped in giant vagina sculpture




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