Friday, July 25, 2014


News Links, July 25-26, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Spanish Graduates Stuck Without Stable Jobs to Pay Rent
Carlos Slim says three-day work week should be standard. Could it work?
Work until you're 75, 11 hours a day. Sounds great! -- RF
Shorting Junk Loans Just Got Easier as New Derivatives Unveiled
Banks are again resorting to derivatives to make it easier to place bullish and bearish bets amid a credit boom, allowing traders to amplify their profits or losses on debt rated below investment grade.
Go for it! -- RF
85 wealthiest are richer than poorest 3.5 billion
France Unemployment New High, Output Down 15th Month; Prices Drop 27th Month; Activity Up in Peripheral Europe; Outlook for Germany
Eurozone economy dead in the water, with crisis expected to carry on 'a long time'
Customers panic as FBME Cyprus under central bank resolution
The privately-held bank issued a statement saying it would cooperate with the Cypriot regulator, but said that it is "shocked by the content of the US Department of the Treasury notice relating to the bank, dated 15 July, that sets out unexplained allegations of weak AML controls."
The bank added in the statement that it had no prior notification of this announcement nor did have the opportunity to comment on or refute the various allegations set out in it.
Leaked Trade Deal Chapter Reveals Corporate-Friendly Subversion of Public Health, Food Safety
Ex-Goldman Trader's Bitcoin Exchange to Fill Mt. Gox Void
No Inflation Friday: Dollarized Panama Issues Price Controls For Basic Goods
Historic Junction for Industrial-Scale Sail Transport

## Airline Death Spiral ##
European carriers suspend more Tel Aviv flights
German airlines cancel more Tel Aviv flights
Air Canada lands safely in Tel Aviv after go-around for rockets
Bombardier to cut 1,800 jobs, aerospace head retires
JetBlue is stealing legroom from coach to give to its new business class

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
The Coming Storm In The Middle East
Holy Land Deserted of Tourists as Fighting Empties Hotels 
Israeli border towns empty, adjust to new threats
As Rockets Fly, Israeli Programmers Code in Bomb Shelters
Israeli Cabinet Unanimously Rejects Gaza Ceasefire
Israel, Hamas to observe 12-hour unilateral cease-fire in Gaza
Iraq: 60 dead in attack on prisoner convoy
Russia delivering weapons to Iraq: report
EU edges to economic sanctions on Russia but narrows scope
Islamic State presses Syria offensive, targets two key government garrisons
Islamic State uses high grade captured weapons to fight Assad troops in Syria
Ukraine Coalition Government Collapses as 2 Parties Quit 
The Piece Fits; Debunking Revisited
US Invents Reports of Russia Attacking Ukraine Bases
The NSA's New Partner in Spying: Saudi Arabia's Brutal State Police
Central American Presidents Say U.S. Shares Responsibility For Migration Crisis
Liberal party looks to legalize medical marijuana in Colombia
Naval ships from U.S., India and Japan to start war games
France Sends Soldiers To Guard Air Algerie Wreckage In Mali
US Doubles Down on Foreign Military Sales

## Energy/resources ##
'New Gold Rush' for Riches Takes Aim at Deep Ocean
The costs will not be only environmental. As with oil, deep-sea extraction will prove to be expensive. -- RF 
Mineral depletion: the trouble with gold
Power projects worth Rs 36,000 crore stranded on coal shortage
NAS Fukushima report: Accidents will happen
Iraqi Oil In Context: 60% Of OPEC Growth Expectations
For Californians, higher costs dampen support for clean energy
California's future energy pipe dream
Wind turbine payback period claimed to be within 8 months
In addition to the problem observed here, there is the matter of energy fungibility. A wind turbine is a monumental pile of metal that requires a lot of coal and oil to build and install. Even if a wind turbine produces a huge amount of surplus energy, that is electricity, and the turbine can't reproduce itself. That's why renewables are "fossil fuel extenders." Twenty years from now, when the current crop of turbines is grinding to a halt, will coal and oil still be affordable and available enough to build and install a new crop? -- RF
German Utilities Bail Out Electric Grid at Wind's Mercy
Germany's push toward renewable energy is causing so many drops and surges from wind and solar power that the government is paying more utilities than ever to help stabilize the country's electricity grid.
Statoil to cut more than 1,000 jobs
Company's output down 9 percent year-on-year.
Company In Which Joe Biden's Son Is Director Prepares To Drill Shale Gas In East Ukraine
Australia: record coal exports "eating up port capacity"

## Got food? ##
U.S. Midwestern farmers fighting explosion of 'superweeds'
Ultimately the farming population will have to be substantially increased. In other words, we need boots on the ground and hands to yank the weeds. That's the way it's always been done, and that's the way it always will be done. The use of machinery and chemicals is but a short aberration when seen from the past and future of farming. -- RF
U.S. Pork Producers Keep Using Drug Banned or Restricted in 160 Countries
Rat poison found in imported frozen fish
A seafood importer in western Japan is recalling frozen fish from Vietnam after finding that packages of the product contained rat poison.
Tyson Foods to shut 3 factories, cut 950 jobs
Russia: McDonald's food has 'too many calories'
California Water Prices Soar for Farmers as Drought Grows
Farmers in California's Central Valley, the world's most productive agricultural region, are paying as much as 10 times more for water than they did before the state's record drought cut supply.

## Environment/health ##
Beijing shuts big coal-fired power plant to ease smog
Sweden's nuclear plants forced to cut output due to warm weather
Ironically, everyone expected to have more electricity to power their air conditioners in hot weather. -- RF
CDC Head: Age of Antibiotic Resistance Is Nigh
Deadly 'superbug' is spreading in US hospitals
Cases of the contagious and deadly "superbug" known as CRE increased five-fold in community hospitals from 2008 to 2012 in the Southeastern U.S., according to a new study.
Western US water crisis worse than thought
Study: Earth in the midst of sixth mass extinction
Nigeria confirms Liberian man died of Ebola in Lagos
Neonic insecticides widespread in Iowa waters -study
Groundwater levels drop in Southwestern U.S. in ongoing drought
Creepy crawlies decline as human population soars
The number of slugs, spiders, butterflies, worms and other invertabrates has fallen by 45 per cent in 35 years in a decline whcih could have huge implications for humans
Colombia launches emergency plan to combat El Nino drought
Colombia has launched an emergency plan to combat the impact of the El Nino weather phenomenon, which has led to drought in several regions of the Andean nation, causing the death of livestock and damage to crops.
Kudzu That Ate U.S. South Heads North as Climate Changes
WWF: Arctic Oil Well Blowout Could Spread More Than 1,000 Km

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
European Central Bank in database security breach
Nigerian 419 Email Scammers Shift to Malware and Hacking
The "Insider Threat Program" and the Government's War on Whistleblowers
'To Protect the Press,' Spain Tries to Muffle the Internet
Australian IT industry faces impending skills shortage
Britain faces increasing digital skills shortage, says taskforce report
Typewriter manufacturers see boom in sales (Germany)
Canvas Fingerprinting Is More Invasive Than Cookies. But Should You Worry About It?
Everyone seems to have forgotten the time the U.S. shot down a passenger jet, killing 290, and then tried to cover it up
This is how you invent a person online
Missouri to Vote on Adding Phone, Email Privacy to State Constitution
Germany begins spying on Britain and America for the first time since 1945

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Rot Within, Part III: Our Political Order Is Defined by Favoritism and Extortion
Auditors Say NASA Doesn't Have the Money for Big Rockets
Long-time readers will recall that I've predicted declining fortunes for space programs. -- RF
Greek quadriplegic woman on life support 'dies due to unpaid power bills'
Social Security's $300M IT project doesn't work
Glitch crashes global US passport, visa operations
Hip And Knife-Proof? The Latest Threads At Colombia Fashion Show
Fashionable and practical - two words that could describe a line of men's clothes recently shown at Medellín, Colombia's Colombiamoda 2014 international fashion show. A line of anti-ballistic clothing — hoodies, t-shirts and polo shirts —also offers varying levels of above-the-waist protection from knife and blade cuts, bullets and abrasion, like falling from a motorcycle.
Are We Addicted to Failure?
Like all addicts, Central Planners are confident they can manage the monkey on their back. But this is a self-serving illusion.
Mazda recalls U.S. cars with faulty Takata air bags

## Japan ##
The Flame-Out Of Abenomics, in One Crucial Chart
Pity The Japanese: They've Been Turned Into Keynesian Lab Rats
Attempt by China to buy Japanese islands scuppered: Sankei Shimbun
Japan's Export-Champ Days Are Left Behind, Chart Shows
Japanese Inflation Holds Near 23 Year Highs As Food, Energy, & TV Costs Soar
Japan's secrecy law seen as draconian
Fukushima monkeys show possible effects of radiation, study suggests
McDonald's Japan stops sourcing all chicken from China
Japan walking 'tightrope' on public debt as yields set to rise: Amari
Japanese government to make fuel-cell cars the official vehicle for all ministries
Japan eyes opening 3 casinos by 2020
Abe arrives in Mexico on first leg of Latin America, Caribbean visit

## China ##
China to roll out seven pilot markets for trading water rights
China to create intellectual property courts
I can hear a lot of applause here. Hooray, the Chinese are getting serious about protecting intellectual property rights, etc. Maybe so. But this is exactly what brings the whole system down. Because problems are continually arising, governments perforce keep creating new offices and departments and ministries and institutions to deal with them. But even if a solution of sorts results, any newly created entity requires energy (i.e., a budget), and thereby becomes yet another burden that must be maintained. Governments in this way become increasingly bloated and complex, and that bloat and complexity act as a major force that induces dysfunction and, ultimately, systemic collapse. Have a nice day! -- RF
Whose Oil Will Quench China's Thirst?
Keynesian Ditch Diggers At Work: China's Construction Orgy Has Planted Malinvestments Everywhere
Overgrown Beijing slaps new limits on industry in bid to cut smog

## UK ##
More universities to charge maximum tuition fees of £9,000
NHS patients at risk of getting mad cow disease during surgery
Hundreds die each year in NHS due to faulty machines: report
Scotland Yard refuses to name 17 groups it spied on
Ryanair-style nurseries are charging extra for food and nappies, report warns
Nurseries are becoming like "budget airlines" forcing parents to pay for "optional" extras such as food and activities for their children, a survey of hundreds of childcare providers has found.
Poor doors: the segregation of London's inner-city flat dwellers
Multimillion pound housing developments in London are segregating less well-off tenants from wealthy homebuyers by forcing them to use separate entrances.

## US ##
US Manufacturing PMI Drops, Biggest Miss On Record
Obama Declares Emergency As Huge Fires Burn In Washington State
Canadians decry shutoffs, plan water convoy to Detroit
What Drives Miami's Condo Bubble 2? Foreign Buyers
What Will Fed Do When The Overheated Sectors Carrying US Economy Start Cooling?
Car thieves with good taste are targeting luxury vehicles
Federal officials say hundreds of thousands of high-end vehicles are smuggled overseas everywhere by car theft rings.
Illinois workforce shrinks by largest margin in state history
Barbaric: Arizona inmate takes nearly two hours to die in botched execution
New Home Sales Collapse 20% From May To Dec 2012 Levels; Biggest Miss In A Year
Groundwater levels drop in Southwestern U.S. in ongoing drought
Detroit Isn't Fixed: The City's Pensioners Just Pulled Another Heist
When does college become too expensive? Tuition growth continues to outpace income growth and the student debt bubble continues to expand with the vast majority of debt going to the young.
Record Student-Loan Debt Prompts Treasury Push to Stem Defaults
The U.S. Treasury, which finances more than 90 percent of new student loans, is exploring ways to make repayment more affordable as defaults by almost 7 million Americans and other strapped borrowers restrain economic growth.
Resolution Against New Iraq War Passes House in Landslide
ObamaFraud: GAO Study Finds Almost All Fake Applicants are Approved for Subsidized ObamaCare
As Political Disenchantment Soars, Lines At The Polls Grow Shorter
Obama Shenanigans on 'Factoryless' Exports, Taxes, Employment, Jobs
Wal-Mart's New U.S. Chief Faces Empty Shelves, Grumpy Shoppers
Shares Of A Major US Trucker Are Crashing After Management Says It Can't Find Drivers For Its Trucks

And finally...
Female postal worker allegedly 'goes postal' at NYC hair salon because of slow service

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