Thursday, September 18, 2014


News Links, September 18-19, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Number of billionaires hits record high in 2014
Tycoon buys 30 Rolls-Royces for Macau hotel
The Dow And S&P 500 Soar To Irrational Heights – Meanwhile The Ultra-Wealthy Rush To Buy Gold Bars
'Forced labor' rife in Malaysian electronics factories: report
Nearly a third of some 350,000 workers in Malaysia's electronics industry - a crucial link in the international consumer supply chain - suffer from conditions of modern-day slavery such as debt bondage, according to a study funded by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Turkey Raising Specter of Bank Collapse as Asya Targeted
CEOs Darken Outlook, Slash Hiring and Cap-Ex Plans – Hope Now Focused on Share Buybacks (which just Plunged) (US)
Here They Go Again: Ratings Dilution, Subprime Explosion, Mega-Deal Madness
Ebola could drain billions of dollars from African economies: World Bank
Citigroup Embraces Derivatives as Deals Soar After Crisis
In the past five years, the firm that took the largest U.S. bank bailout of the financial crisis increased the total amount of derivatives on its books by 69 percent, surpassing most U.S. peers and closing the gap with the market leader, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) At the end of June, Citigroup had $62 trillion of open contracts, up from $37 trillion in June 2009, company filings show. JPMorgan trimmed its holdings 14 percent to $68 trillion.
Microsoft cuts 2,100 jobs as restructuring plan winds down
Italy to privatise postal service in early 2015 - official
ECB's Targeted Lending Spree Starts Out As Flop; Modern Monetary Insanity
Another financial crisis is inevitable: Martin Wolf
Iron ore miners battle for survival as 'perfect storm' hits
High-cost Australian miners are battling for survival as plunging iron ore prices push many to breaking point, with analysts seeing no significant short-term recovery as Chinese demand for steel wanes in line with sliding property prices.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
DOT Chief Speaks Out on Knee Defender Controversy
Hainan plans to reclaim land for new airport
Air Malta silent on claims of €30 million loss
Scoot Sees Losses for the Past Two Years: What's Next?
WestJet announces fee for first checked bag
Europe's Airlines May be Readying for New, U.S.-Style Merger Round

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Germany and France consider sending drones to Ukraine
President Poroshenko Comes Calling On Washington—Bearing Big Lies And A Tin Cup
Kerry Says No US Combat Troops Will Fight ISIS On The Ground
Iraq PM: US Ground Troops Not Welcome Here
John Kerry suggests Iran could lead fight against Isil if US "fails miserably"
The Tower Of Babel Comes To Paris: The Folly Of Obama's "War" On ISIS
Islamic State militants cannot be defeated by air strikes, says Iran FM
Reported US-Syrian Accord on Air Strikes
The Obama administration, working through the Russian government, has secured an agreement from the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad to permit U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State targets in parts of Syria, according to a source briefed on the secret arrangements.
Crime on the high seas: The world's most pirated waters
Islamists And Soldiers Clash Near Libya's Benghazi Airport, 9 Dead 30 Wounded
Website of Chinese embassy in Pyongyang shows fraying ties
Revolt Against The Super-State: Europe's Secessionist Wave Intensifies
Economies will inevitably shrink as energy and other resources become more expensive, and in an energy-constrained world, small political/economic units make much more sense. Also watch for more secessionist talk in the US. -- RF
Which Global Hegemon Is on Shifting Sands?
Scotland Independence: Watch Catalonia Next To See How Yes From Scotland May Boost Other Independence Movements

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Ferguson Protesters Call For Removal Of Prosecutor Bob McCulloch At St. Louis Council Meeting
Occupy Wall Street 2014: At Zuccotti Park In NYC, A Smaller Crowd But No Less Spunk

## Energy/resources ##
Clean coal: Carbon Capture Plant Runs Into Cost, Legal Obstacles
US shale oil growth covers up production drop in rest-of-world
Gazprom: Serbia will start building South Stream in October
British company gives up on Polish shale
3Legs Resources, a company exploring the shale natural gas potential in Poland, said Wednesday it was giving up because of a lack of commercial prospects.
Belgium may extend lifespan of old nuclear reactors -sources
Belgium could keep two of the country's oldest nuclear reactors running for up to 10 years longer than planned if other plants remain offline because of safety shutdowns, two sources close to government coalition talks said.
Iraq's oil output revival at stake for want of water
A lack of water threatens Iraq's plans to raise its oil output, boost its stumbling economy and become a leading producer in the region after Saudi Arabia.
OPEC Hints It May Act To Stop Oil Price Slide
This 11% Drop Could Be A Gamechanger in Coal
Coal Miner Peabody at 10-Year Low, Drags Down Other Miners
Scrap South Stream, Europe says
Members of the European Parliament passed a resolution Thursday calling for the cancellation of contracts for Russia's planned South Stream gas pipeline.
Russia's Gazprom, hit by Ukraine crisis, faces lowest gas output in history
Must read: BP Dives Deeper Offshore Into Mars-Like World
Just imagine the astronomical costs involved. It's going to be some very pricey oil. -- RF
Developing oil field Libra off Brazil will cost 80 billion dollars said France's Total

## Got food? ##
US Milk Prices Hit Record High As Domestic Dairy Consumption Surges
US Beef prices are at an all time high
The price of a burger or steak is the highest it has ever been and prices could continue to skyrocket.
Why GM Crops Will Not Feed the World

## Environment/health ##
These charts show you just how bad Ebola has gotten in West Africa
Sierra Leone Ebola Burial Teams Struggle as Bodies Decompose
Ebola outbreak: Health team 'found dead' in Guinea
Australia Announces $6.35M More To Fight Ebola As UN Says Over $1B Needed To Counter Outbreak
EV D68 Enterovirus Cases Confirmed In New York City, New Jersey
Are Cell Phones Really Giving Us Cancer?
White America's Drug Problem Is Getting Worse
2014 was a summer sizzler: Earth's hottest on record
Scientists turn to Pope Francis and world's religions to save the planet
The Number Of Volcanic Eruptions Is Increasing And That Could Lead To An Extremely Cold Winter
How Can Diet Sodas Make You Fat? Study May Explain It
Venezuela Virus 2014: Mysterious Disease Reportedly Infects Aragua Area; Governor in Denial
No place to hide for Africa's pangolins amid China buying spree
Natural disasters happening right now (video)
Border controls set up to catch deadly mosquitoes (UK)
Public health experts have set up port controls to detect mosquitoes entering the country from France that it is feared could be carrying deadly dengue fever
Brushing Your Teeth With Plastic? Dentists Say Microbeads Bad News
White House escalates fight against antibiotic resistance
Asia's rising tobacco epidemic

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Google: US government demands for user data have risen 250% since 2009
New Zealand Launched Mass Surveillance Project While Publicly Denying It
Senate probe: Chinese hackers breach US military contractors
Hackers associated with the Chinese government have repeatedly breached the computer systems of U.S. companies, including airlines and technology firms, that are involved in the movement of U.S. troops and military equipment, a U.S. Senate panel has found.
Despite Landmark Ruling, Canada's Police Still Making Warrantless Demands for User Data
9/11 Commission Chair: Declassify EVERYTHING
Will Superintelligent Machines Destroy Humanity?
Maybe, unless the blackouts come first. -- RF
Nowhere To Hide As Minority Report-Style Facial Recognition Technology Spreads Across America
New Questions Raised About NSA-Israel Intelligence Sharing
Home Depot says 56M card details likely stolen in breach
Apple to authorities: No iPhone user data, even with a warrant
In its latest software update, the company is prevented from accessing any information about users that may be requested by authorities. A feature that won't change even if a search warrant is issued.
Nearly 70% of Young Iranians Use Illegal Internet Circumvention Tools
Trust in Mass Media Returns to All-Time Low
After registering slightly higher trust last year, Americans' confidence in the media's ability to report "the news fully, accurately, and fairly" has returned to its previous all-time low of 40%. Americans' trust in mass media has generally been edging downward from higher levels in the late 1990s and the early 2000s.
Air Force funds pocket-sized drone for surveilling tight spaces
Cameras to Detect 'Abnormal' Behavior
DO NOT run, perspire, or wave your arms! -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Aid Workers Battle Ebola and Bullets as Crises Multiply
Suzuki Motor to recall 453,000 minivehicles in Japan
Toyota recalling 20,000 late-model vehicles on potential fuel leak
Inside America's crumbling infrastructure
Fed: Forget "Escape Velocity," Not Gonna Happen, Ever
Dark Age America: The End of the Old Order

## Japan ##
Japan's frail business mood, exports show economy straining under tax hike
JPY Plunges To 6-Year Lows, Nikkei Tops 16,000 As Japanese Deficit Runs 41st Month In A Row
Abenomics Crushes Sony: Electronics Giant Forced To Cancel Dividend For First Time Ever
Toshiba says to cut 900 jobs in PC restructuring
The Miraculous Impact of Abenomics on Trade, in One Chart
The BOJ's Keynesian Disaster Worsens: GDP Back To Square One; Trade Accounts Still Deep Red
Dump trucks eyed for moving tainted soil to hot storage in Fukushima
Russia opens new airport on Japan-claimed Etorofu Island off Hokkaido
A new airport started operating on Etorofu Island — one of four Russian-held, Japanese-claimed islands off Hokkaido — as a special plane carrying Russian officials arrived Wednesday, Russian residents said.
Dengue fever cases rise to 133
Japan's plutonium stockpile expands to 47 tons
August Car Sales Dropped 9.4% in Japan

## China ##
China central bank injects $81 billion into major banks to support economy: reports
Economists React: PBOC Injection Fails to Impress
Survey says 50% of all computers in China infected with viruses
Property Trusts Pull Support as Mounting Debt Due: China Credit
China Home Price Drop Spreads to More Cities as Demand Weak
China's Housing Slump Accelerates, Worst In Over Three Years
Hong Kong to Spend $14.2 Billion on Seven New Rail Routes
It won't help. HK will collapse, anyway. -- RF
China Sentences Four For Terror Planning, Amid Foreign Jihad Recruitment Concerns
China to invest $20B in India over next 5 years

## UK ##
Exploding pavements are on the rise in London
According to the Health and Safety Executive, 64 explosions have been reported so far in 2014 compared to 51 for the whole of last year. There were 32 cases in 2012, thus indicating a steady rise over the past few years.
Obesity could bankrupt NHS if left unchecked
Tax disc abolition could cost economy £167m

## US ##
How Hospitals and Health Insurers Collude at Your Expense
FedEx units to raise shipping rates from January
Companies' Stock Buybacks at Biggest Pace Since 2007; Companies Rewarding Investors?
Fed To Cut Bond Buying By $10B, Keep Interest Rates Near Zero For 'Considerable Time'
Venture Capital Risk Taking and Cash Burn Rates Unprecedented Since 1999; 47% of Nasdaq in Bear Market
California Drought 2014: Gov. Brown Signs Landmark Groundwater Regulations To Protect State's Dwindling Water Supplies
It's Not Just the Police – The Feds are Also Militarizing Public Schools with Grenade Launchers, M16s and Tanks
'Bearacade' making classrooms into safe rooms
New York Resident Mufid Elfgeeh Charged With Recruiting ISIS Fighters And Plotting U.S. Attack
Cuts to food stamps will only hit 4 states
Walmart Workers Complain They Can't Afford New Dress Code
US Home Builders Retreated On New Projects In August; Housing Starts, Construction Permits Decline
Are we building too many homes?
Border Patrol to test body cameras on agents
Food-stamp enrollment in Illinois outpaces job creation by nearly 2-to-1
More Warnings from Wall Street: The Party's Over

And finally...
It takes 7 police forces to break up wedding brawl
"Things were said that can never be taken back," says one witness; the paper reports that family members were yelling of their hatred for each other.
'Star-Spangled Banner': Anthem was once a song of drinking and sex
Like my body odor, like my politics: People are attracted to the body odor of others with similar political beliefs

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