Sunday, June 01, 2014


News Links, May 31-June 2, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Siemens to Shed 11,600 Positions as Company Cuts Costs
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
Piketty Issues 4,400-Word Defense of His Book on Inequality
Canadian economy slows in first quarter as businesses stay wary
The Big Hoax Of The Wall Street Hype Machine
The S&P 500 index keeps bumbling from one all-time high to the next as corporations are issuing record amounts of debt to spend record amounts on buying back their own shares: $160 billion in the first quarter alone, according to CapitalIQ. Borrowing money to buy back shares and hyping it ceaselessly as "returning value to the shareholders" is the most effective way to manipulate up the stock, even if revenues are declining quarter after quarter.
Balancing the Budget and the Trade Deficit is Easy: Return to Gold Standard
Rumblings in Precious Metals Markets A Sign of Coming Monetary System Collapse
Australian budget hit by global financial crisis and high oil prices (part 1)
Wreckonomics: Troika Accelerates Demolition of Spain's Economy
Spain Plans to Spend $8.2 Billion to Boost Growth
40% of EU citizens can't afford a vacation
IMF board approves $4.6 billion in aid for Greece
Oil sands labour crunch looms as new projects set to come on stream (Canada)
Stumbling Thai economy lends urgency to junta's revival efforts
Amazon deploys 10,000 robot workers, a year after Obama's famous Amazon jobs speech

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Consultant: Commercial service not likely to return to Lake Tahoe Airport
Monarch Airlines to Get Rid of Reclining Seats to Reduce Air Rage
Air India posts huge loss
Bombardier Inc CSeries test fleet grounded after engine problem
Bombardier Inc. halted flight testing on its new CSeries after an engine failed during ground maintenance tests, adding to the setbacks for a model already plagued by delays and rising development costs.
Crowded skies in the Middle East
100 years on, airlines hampered by history, IATA says
Global airlines are set to make $13 billion this year, but a centennial gathering in Doha this week will hear that margins remain thin and the industry has rarely if ever covered its cost of capital since the original St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
From Elections to Mass Movements: How Wealthy Elites Are Hijacking Democracy All Over the World
In dig at China, Japan PM says supports SE Asia on freedom of sea, air
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, pushing for a greater role for Japan in regional security, said on Friday that Tokyo would offer its "utmost support" to Southeast Asian countries, several of which are locked in maritime disputes with its arch-rival China.
What Obama Actually Said At West Point: More Interventionist Tommyrot
Hagel Says China's Territorial Claims Are Destabilizing
In the context of the current global regime, which is nothing but a big free-for-all resource grab, China's claim on virtually the entire South China Sea is a brilliant move. -- RF
Australia Calls China's Actions in South China Sea 'Unhelpful'
Israel Deploys 3 Nuclear-Armed Subs Off Iran Coast; Iran Warns Of Forceful Response To "Evil Acts"
The "Iranian Nuclear Threat" Narrative Is Refuted By 35-Years Of History: Gareth Porter Explains The Facts
Israel's Tech Industry Is Becoming All About 'China, China, China'
Year after violent protests, Turkey at 'tipping point'
Thai oil tanker may have been hijacked: authorities
Nearly 3,000 migrants arrive on Italian coast in 24 hours
Nearly 800 killed in Iraq's bloodiest month this year: U.N.
Mish Reader Who Speaks Ukrainian and Russian Updates the Situation in Ukraine
Vietnam expects Japan coast guard ships next year
IAF to increase operational capabilities by 400%
By the end of 2014, Israeli fighter jets will be able to strike thousands of terror targets in a single day, IAF commander says.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protesters Face Riot Police, Water Cannons On Anniversary of Turkey's Uprisings
Protesters who took to the streets of Istanbul and Ankara on Saturday to mark the one-year anniversary of this country's Gezi Park uprisings were met with riot police, tear gas, and water cannons.
Agra residents take to streets over power cuts (India)
Thai army deploys against protesters

## Energy/resources ##
Drought Fuels World Cup Blackout Fears
Canada's oil patch bracing for coming 'retirement tsunami'
The transition to sustainable energy: how much will it cost?
Iran wants stronger energy ties with Turkey
This Week in US Energy … Shale Ups and Downs
Debt is growing far faster than revenues. If shale drilling is an energy bonanza, I'd hate to see a disaster. -- RF
New Indian govt fights power cuts in Delhi, biggest state
Projects Seek to Turn Pavement into Alternative Energy Sources
The transition wouldn't be cheap. Scott estimates the cost would run anywhere from 50 percent to 300 percent more than the cost of using asphalt to pave a roadway. How the material would stand up to weather, road salt in colder climates, snowplows, crashes and other challenges also remains to be seen.
What 'war on coal'? The carbon fuel is doing fine
Power: 28 system failures recorded in 16 months (Nigeria)
Pakistan's Coal Rush: A Bubble Waiting to Burst
Bolivian power demand reaches near record levels
EU diplomats agree to 7% biofuels cap

## Got food? ##
Small Farmers' Loss of Land Increases World Hunger
The world is increasingly hungry because small farmers are losing access to farmland. Small farmers produce most of the world's food but are now squeezed onto less than 25 percent of the world's farmland, a new report reveals. Corporate and commercial farms, big biofuel operations and land speculators are pushing millions off their land.
Madagascar locust crisis
How A Food Stylist Made Squirrel And Earthworm Look Appetizing
Oklahoma's Extreme Drought Has Wheat Farmers Bracing For Worst
Biotech Industry Lobbying Blitz Defeats Calif. GMO Labeling Bill
Coffee rust reaches new heights in Central America
Milk-whitening nanotechnology enters the U.S. food supply without FDA oversight
Japan exporting cutting-edge vegetable factories

## Environment/health ##
Ebola: Deadly outbreak crosses border as mistrust hampers medical staff
Vicious mosquito heads to Australia, its bite loaded with dengue fever
World On Brink Of Sixth Great Extinction, Species Disappearing Faster Than Ever Before
Feds Leave Radioactive Waste Stranded In Wildfire Danger Zone
The Department of Energy admitted Friday it will not meet a deadline to remove dangerous radioactive waste, currently stranded above-ground in unsafe conditions at a New Mexico nuclear weapons laboratory, before wildfire season hits.
Measles Hits 20-Year High In U.S.
Fracking wells possible culprit of Texas earthquakes
What climate activists should learn from the Monterey Shale downgrade

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
US tries to debunk Snowden email claims
Israel, Iran wage cyber warfare in the battlefield of the future
New Massive Federal Database to Hold Financial Information on Hundreds of Millions of Americans
NSA Gathering Millions of Images for Facial Recognition Technology
NSA may have your selfies on file; agency harvests millions of images daily
Online banking thefts hit Japan firms prompting compensation rethink
German spy agency to 'monitor Facebook, Twitter in real-time'
LAPD adds drones to arsenal, says they'll be used sparingly

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Must read: Converging Energy Crises – And How our Current Situation Differs from the Past
Infrastructure Sticker Shock: Financing Costs More than Construction
Caracas Goes Thirsty as Taps Run Dry and Bottles Vanish
This Is What's Wrong with the Legal System in America
Behind the public-relations facade of "advocacy" and "justice," much of the American legal system is unproductive regulatory friction and the pursuit of extortionist rentier skims.
The future of cash in a mobile-digital world
The physicality of cash is the reason why it plays a vital contingency role in society. When disasters take place, such as the recent tragedy of Hurricane Sandy, or when there are power or network outages, cash can be the only payment system still working. Money should never be reduced entirely to electronic numbers in some digital file owned by a private organization. Electronic, mobile and virtual money are rendered inoperable during downtime.

## Japan ##
The Wrath of Abenomics: Sales Collapse, Inflation Soars
Nuclear-Free Japan Faces Summer Power Crunch in Heartland
A power crunch could come while Japan is without nuclear energy over the summer peak season for the first time in more than four decades, a legacy of the Fukushima disaster of 2011. The nation is working on a thin margin of reserves and the fear is that another plant failure could leave companies and homes without enough electricity.
Heat wave kills two, sends hundreds to hospitals
'Super Cool Biz' campaign kicks off
Japan enters a new stage of shale oil drilling
Shale is a money-loser in the US, so what are its prospects in Japan? And methane hydrate development is a joke. -- RF
2020 Olympics: Smaller, simpler design for Tokyo National Stadium released
Japan plans arms procurement agency to promote exports
Japan plans to create an arms procurement agency to streamline Tokyo's spending on defense-related hardware that will also promote military exports and take charge of advanced weapons research, two people with knowledge of the developing plan said.
SDF may get green light to rescue U.N. peacekeepers under attack
Japan's industrial output falls 2.5% in April
Govt cuts economic outlook for all regions
Consumption tax hike lifts inflation to a 23-year high
Fantasy: Gov't looks to bring forward extension of maglev train to Osaka
Japan's greenhouse gas emissions up 8%

## China ##
China's assimilation policy has seeded hatred among Uighurs

## UK ##
Drugs and prostitution 'worth £10bn to UK economy'
Illegal drugs and prostitution have contributed £10 billion to the UK economy – more than house building, official data has revealed.
Pensions crisis could make volunteers a thing of the past, English Heritage boss warns
The army of volunteers looking after Britain's historic homes and monuments could disappear as the pensions crisis makes wealthy, time-rich retirees a thing of the past, the head of English Heritage has warned.
The real cost-of-living-crisis: Five million British children 'sentenced to life of poverty thanks to welfare reforms'
'Collective pensions' set to be unveiled in Queen's Speech
Church of England to pray that HS2 will be halted
The Church of England has announced its opposition to the Government's HS2 proposals after warning that the line will desecrate thousands of graves and shatter the peace along the £43 billion route.
UK summer flash floods to become more frequent, study shows

## US ##
U.S. Gasoline Consumption Plummets By Nearly 75%
Americans and their cars: A love affair on fumes?
NASA faces impending budget battle
As I have repeatedly said, space programs will shrink and funding will concentrate on military uses. Keep watching. -- RF
Obama And Hillary Hold Secret Meeting At The White House
Home Equity Loans Jump 8% as Broke American Serfs Scramble for Cash
In Pizza Kitchens And On Assembly Lines, Temp Workers Face Abuse
With VA Hospitals Overtaxed, Vets May Have To Go Private
It's getting too expensive to be poor in America
Student In Wheelchair Beaten By School Security Guard In Oakland, Police Say (VIDEO)
You are too broke to own a home in America!
Sex & Drugs Could Add $800 Billion to U.S. GDP
U.S. to seek 30 pct carbon dioxide emissions cut -report
19-Month-Old Toddler in Critical Condition After Cops Throw Flash Bang Grenade into Playpen

And finally...
Queen's hats 'too big for François Hollande's Citroën'
Spiders Pose as Bird Poop to Evade Predators
Nicolas Cage movies linked to drownings and other spurious correlations

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