Tuesday, August 26, 2014


News Links, August 26-27, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Behold The Magic Of Accounting In First Half Earnings
Inside The Receding Global Bubble: Brazil's Indicators Now Heading South
Deflationary Fears Are Spreading Globally
A worldwide deflation fear is expanding and may actually be rampant. BCA Daily Insights (August 25, 2014) notes that, "out of 32 OEC countries, more than two-thirds have domestic inflation rates that fall short of 1%." BCA analysts go on to argue that the worldwide inflation rate may converge to zero over the next couple of years.
"A war without bullets": Rising trade tensions a long-term threat
Swedish household debt soars as poll nears
Argentine Peso Collapses on Top of Rogue Regime
Dick Smith challenges 'faith' in benefits of population and economic growth
In an address to the National Press Club on Wednesday, the businessman said endless population and economic growth was like a "religious faith" for graduates of university degrees in economics and questioning whether these two things were beneficial for Australians was something of a taboo in public discussion.
One of the rare outbursts of honesty in public discourse. -- RF
Misery Index 2.0
South Koreans 'will be extinct by 2750'
The same kind of brain-dead scaremongering heard in Japan. -- RF
Robots Able to Pick Peppers, Test Soil, and Prune Plants Aim To Replace Farm Workers
Human workers will take orders from robots, and they will like it
Backed by Google Ventures, the First Robot Hotel Butler Just Reported for Duty
Sanctions Costs: German Exports To Russia Collapse, "Risk 50,000 Jobs"
Gaza War Could Push Slowing Israeli Economy Into Contraction
Cargo Thefts Are On The Rise, Despite Drop in Vehicle Thefts
Minimum-wage debate roils Mexico, where rock-bottom pay rules
Are tiny houses and micro-apartments the future of urban homes?
The Bailout of Robert Mugabe – How Wall Street Money Led to Intimidation, Torture and Death in Zimbabwe
It Begins: Council On Foreign Relations Proposes That "Central Banks Should Hand Consumers Cash Directly"
Just Six Months After the Olympics, Sochi Looks Like a Ghost Town
It's a sad scene—and it's one that's been repeated across the world as Olympic host cities struggle with the economic burden of their investments.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Number of airline near-misses appears to be rising
THAI's loss estimated at $470m
Philippine Airlines: Alliance or Atrophy?
Cops called after fliers fight over seat recline
Legroom Gadget Maker Sees Sales Jump After Air-Rage Case
Malaysia Air Said to Mull Job Cuts, Order Review, New CEO
Twin disasters spark Malaysia Airlines crew resignations
Flying pains as China struggles to keep up with aviation growth
AirAsia India flies into loss in first month
Cheap Airplane Seats Shouldn't Recline at All
The bottom line is that the days of affordable comfort in the skies—especially on domestic flights—are over. As airlines struggle to turn profits in the face of rising fuel costs, economy seats in planes keep getting smaller and smaller, with less and less legroom. Though many airlines persist in giving us the illusion that we're flying in comfort with amenities like seats that barely recline and flimsy "pillows" filled with straw, most of us can't really pay the premium that comfort actually costs.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Gaza truce open-ended, but puts off tough issues
Provoking quandary for US, embattled Syrian government asks for help fighting Islamic State
US, British Special Forces on the Ground in Iraq Trying to Find ISIS Leaders
Bombers Return to Baghdad; 212 Killed, 184 Wounded
Egypt and UAE 'launched air strikes against Libyan Islamists'
Egypt and the United Arab Emirates have been accused of launching air strikes against Islamist targets in Libya – a move which would prove to be a major regional escalation in what is fast becoming a battle between the Arab old guard and the rampant forces of political Islam.
7,000 Trapped Ukrainian Forces; IMF to Fund Ukraine Wars?
Russia says wants to send second aid convoy to east Ukraine
Outright Military Victory by Rebels? Ukraine Offensive in Donetsk and Lugansk Fails
Russia orders temporary closure of one more McDonald's restaurant
NATO's 20-Year Campaign To Find An Enemy And Weapons Market For The Military-Industrial Complex
Nato plans east European bases to counter Russian threat
Russia's Nuclear Revival And Its Challenges
Is Ghana Becoming a Piracy Hot Spot?
Sea Transportation: Piracy Gets Lucrative Again
German fighter jets unable to fly and mechanics forced to borrow spare parts, claims magazine
The German air force is facing such a severe funding shortage that many of its aircraft are unable to fly, mechanics are forced to cannibalise parts from existing planes and only eight of the country's 109 Eurofighters are fully operational, according to a report in Spiegel magazine.
Chinese reportedly working on submarine that would 'fly' in an 'air bubble'
Japan to help train, equip Sri Lanka's coast guard

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Pakistan's largest city thirsts for a water supply
On the outskirts of the slums of Pakistan's biggest city, protesters burning tires and throwing stones have what sounds like a simple demand: They want water at least once a week.
Monks and Martyrs: A Controversial Perspective on Dissent in 21st Century America
China's falling real-estate prices trigger protests, clashes
In Defiant Action, Pipeline Protesters Lock Themselves to Trucks

## Energy/resources ##
Oil sands dream evaporates with bondholders facing 40% loss
Update on US natural gas, coal, nuclear, and renewables
Saudi Aramco to invest $400bn to keep oil production steady
Saudi Aramco has announced plans to invest $40 billion a year over the next decade to keep oil production capacity steady and double gas production. President and CEO of the world's largest oil producer, Khalid Al Falih, said the company expected an increase in capital for offshore projects, according to Arab News.
Norway to Cut Oil-Production Forecasts as Costs Delay Projects
Norway, western Europe's biggest oil producer, will probably cut its long-term forecast for crude production as companies reduce spending to counter rising costs and improve shareholder returns.
Statoil mulls impact of Russian sanctions
Norwegian energy company Statoil stands by its partners in Russia, though Western sanctions do present some obstacles, the company's top executive said Monday.
Remote, gas-rich islands on Indonesia's South China Sea frontline
The World's Most Dangerous Dams
Chevron seeks up to $1.5 billion for Canadian oil project - sources
Iran testing gas pipeline to Iraq
North Sea oil estimates 'ludicrously pessimistic'
S.Korea's nuclear operator halts reactor due to heavy rain
Power consumption can easily be cut by 800 megawatt (Belgium)
Her plea comes as Belgium is facing a possible power shortage next winter, with possible black-outs to be imposed on several areas of the country.
Long queues form as fuel shortage threatens (Indonesia)
Italy struggles with Plan B if Russian gas supplies cut
India May Explore Oil in South China Sea
India is assessing whether to explore oil in five blocks in the South China sea, on the invitation of Vietnam, a crucial and strategically located south east Asian friend, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said.
The Peak Oil Crisis: When?

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Thieves rip off church roof lead
Electric car charging cords being stolen in Vancouver
Street lights stolen

## Got food? ##
China's Food Safety Woes Continue, With Chicken Feet Tainted With Hydrogen Peroxide
Japan to propose 50% cut in young tuna catch

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
'Tiny Homes on the Move' Showcases the Nomadic Lifestyle

## Environment/health ##
Ebola Among Health Workers: More Than 240 Sick, More Than 120 Dead
Psychologists say overly connected children can't read human emotion
The Climate Scientist Who Pioneered Geoengineering Fears It's About to Blow Up
Cause of New Mexico nuclear waste accident remains a mystery
Pulitzer-winning scientist warns wildlife face a 'biological holocaust'
Half the planet should be set aside solely for the protection of wildlife to prevent the "mass extinction" of species, according to one of the world's leading biologists.
'Incredible' rate of polar ice loss alarms scientists
Forget bedbugs, these bugs are more common—and more harmful

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
For sale: Systems that can secretly track where cellphone users go around the globe
Makers of surveillance systems are offering governments across the world the ability to track the movements of almost anybody who carries a cellphone, whether they are blocks away or on another continent.
California Governor Signs Bill Requiring Smartphone 'Kill Switch'
Electromagnetic Warfare Is Here
Snowden Documents Reveal NSA's 'Own Secret Google'
Cyborg moths to the rescue!
Scientists are developing a method of controlling the flight muscles of moths wirelessly, instantly introducing a new term to the vocabulary of technophobes: the mothpocalypse.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
It's Not Just Politics That's Broken--The Status Quo's Model of "How the World Works" Is Broken

## Japan ##
Thyroid cancer diagnosed in 104 young people in Fukushima
Ministry to seek ¥8.1 billion to study Fukushima No. 1 reactor dismantlement
Fukushima groundwater bypass operation ineffective: Tepco
Gasp! In a first, Japan records fewer than 500,000 births in first half of year
Japanese court rules against nuclear operator in suicide suit
Japan Said to Plan Tax-Free Investing Program for Kids
U.S. submarine visits Japan to promote reassurance
Labor shortages, high costs doom small, midsize firms
An increasing number of small and medium-sized companies have gone bankrupt in recent months due to labor shortages. Some were unable to bear soaring labor costs while others could not hire sufficient workers.
CLSA Sees Bond Danger in Pension Switch to Stocks: Japan Credit
Kuroda Urges 'Visible Hand' to Raise Japan Wages
Child Poverty SOS / Living with hunger in candlelight world
One in six children live in poverty in Japan, supposedly one of the most prosperous countries in the world. The nation's child poverty rate was a record-high 16.3 percent in 2012, according to figures released July 15 by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.
Child Poverty SOS / Single mothers struggle to survive working at Kabukicho nightclubs
Appliance shipments down 15.9%

## China ##
China shuts down Beijing Independent Film Festival
As Labor Costs Rise, China Turns More to Robot Workers
Drought affects half a million in Xinjiang
5 Takeaways From Chinese Property Developers' Earnings

## UK ##
Increase in power network thefts responsible for hundreds of power cuts
Service sector growth cools, pointing to overall slowdown

## US ##
New York's Homeless Pushed Deeper into the Shadows
Mimicking the airlines, hotels get fee-happy
Hearings planned after call for nuke plant closure
Building for a future of American renting serfs
Private housing starts for structures with at least 5 units hits a post recession high. More than 11 million Americans spend more than 50 percent of income on rent
With Half Of City Residents Delinquent, Detroit Restarts Water Shut-Offs
Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Other Defense Contractors Pay With Jobs For End Of Combat Operations In Iraq And Afghanistan
When Sears Was a Retail Star, Not Losing $1B in Six Months
Suspect in Los Angeles-area shootings detained
California wine country quake losses seen in the billions
Drowning in Unsold New Homes?
Visualizing the Vanishing Money Velocity Vortex
Spotting The Next Detroit - America's Fasting-Shrinking Cities
Coming soon to protests in America: Government thugs (one almost punched me)
Climate change and development patterns are contributing to the soaring costs of Western wildfires
Durables Goods, Excluding Bumper Boeing Orders, Suffer Biggest Drop Of 2014

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