Sunday, December 14, 2014

 

News Links, December 15, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Mr. Market Is Back—-Plunging Oil Prices Are Busting The Money Printers' Bubbles
Obama's high-tech deal with China in trouble as WTO talks break down
Bail-In and the Financial Stability Board: The Global Bankers' Coup
WTO Talks On Duty-Free Trade In IT Goods Collapse
Is Germany Already Signaling The Complete (Economic) Collapse Of The European Union?
Must read: Russia's Proposed Interbank System Threatens Global Economy
With oil trading below US$60, provinces brace for impact of global oil price shock (Canada)
Global Credit Markets Have Proclaimed An End To The Recovery
A Greek island - yours for the price of a London flat
Cash-strapped Greeks are selling off their slices of paradise - flocks of sheep included
Inside Wealth: Some of the rich collect art. Others collect passports.
Along with stock and real estate portfolios, the global rich are now buying a new form of economic security: passport portfolios. Wealthy investors from around the world are increasingly shopping for visas or citizenship in other countries, hoping for a personal hedge against their own volatile governments or economies.
Australia's once-vibrant auto industry crashes in slow motion
There has been a car industry in Australia for about as long as there have been cars. But within two or three years, the last of the continent's auto plants will go dark.
Barclays 'may have automated currency rigging'
Barclays and Deutsche Bank may have programmed automated trading platforms to systematically rig the currency markets, a US regulator has alleged.
France Goes After Actor Salaries; Sunday Shopping "Reform" French Style
Italian Debt Soon to Be a Rotten Asset… everything's fine!
Consumer Price Deflation for 15 Consecutive Months in Spain, CPI Now -0.4 Percent
Europe Is Following Italy Into A Minefield Of Permanent Austerity And Debt Crises
David Stockman Talks Historical Dominoes—–Rise Of the Warfare State And Keynesian Central Banking
The Millenaire mall: coping in low-growth France
The Coming Wealth Transfer: There's nowhere to hide (except in hard assets)
Oil Prices Go Down, Russia's Gold Buying Goes Up
Sales Of Silver American Eagles Rise To Record High For Second Consecutive Year

## Airline Death Spiral ##
AirAsia flight diverted after passenger throws hot water on flight attendant
The latest case of air rage — a seemingly growing genre of conflict — came Thursday when a Thai AirAsia flight bound for Nanjing, China was forced to return to Bangkok after an unruly passenger threw scalding hot water on a flight attendant
UK airspace manager calls glitch unprecedented
South African Airways Mulled Scrapping Champagne, China Flight
"The business is chronically under-capitalized and government have indicated that they are not going to recapitalize SAA," the Johannesburg-based airline said in a presentation dated November 2014. An aging fleet, competition from carriers including Emirates and a weakening rand have all contributed to a funding shortfall, it said.
Special Report: EU funds help Poland build 'ghost' airports
Around 80 airports in Europe attract fewer than 1 million passengers a year, and about three-quarters of those are in the red, according to industry body Airports Council International.
Shortage of fancy seats slows Boeing's year-end jet deliveries
Aircraft-seat suppliers are struggling to meet the demand for new high-end, lie-flat seats for business and first class in big widebody jets, and the supply-chain squeeze has begun to slow Boeing jet deliveries.
Airlines continue to fall out of favour with first class
Why the second-busiest international airport is often so nightmarishly fragile
Air Fares Unchanged By Low Oil Prices

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Secretive D.O.D. Drone Dodges Defenses At Hypersonic Speed
Libyan conflict parties clash over control of eastern oil ports
Britain to send hundreds more troops to Iraq, says defence secretary
South China Sea Dispute: Philippines And Vietnam Allies In Position Papers Against China
Vietnam and the Philippines expressed support for each other this week against claims made by China in the hotly disputed South China Sea area. The battle over a cluster of resource-rich islands and strategic maritime territories in Southeast Asia is now being fought before an arbitration tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands.
Islamic State militants shoot down Iraqi helicopter
Islamic State fighters seize town in Anbar province, killing 19 police
Iran advisers boost anti-ISIL battles in Iraq
Iranian military commanders deployed in Iraq played a key role in recent victories against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fighters throughout the country, according to Iraqi security officials and Shia militia leaders. 
U.S. Congress readies new sanctions on Russia
Russia says will react if U.S. imposes new sanctions
Russia Warns May Send Troops To Ukraine After Congress Unanimously Votes To Give Lethal Aid To Kiev
Russian plane has near-miss with passenger aircraft over Sweden
Swedish authorities say military plane turned off transponder to avoid commercial radar and came close to collision
Ron Paul On Drones, Bombs And Invasions—–They 'Torture' Entire Civilian Populations
The international smuggling ring paying off Western border officials to bring refugees into Europe
Violent Dutch gang-war spreads across Europe
China's New Stealth Fighter Jet Can Take Down American Counterpart, Developer Says
Ranks of 'disappeared' growing in Southeast Asia
Navy Declares Laser Weapons Ready to Protect Ships in Persian Gulf
And to help lock down Middle East oil. -- RF
The Rise of Asia's Mini-Marines
Across the Pacific Rim, regional powers are creating new marine infantry units... Since 2009, India, Australia and Japan have all announced the creation of seagoing infantry forces.
Turkish Police Detain 24 in Raids on Media Outlets

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Italy trade unions strike over Renzi's labour reforms

## Energy/resources ##
Power struggle: Six-hour blackout as power grid collapses (Pakistan)
After a six-hour long blackout across much of the country except Karachi, electricity has partially been restored in many areas following a massive breakdown the national power grid suffered because of a technical fault at Tarbela power station on Friday morning.
Fact or Fiction?: Geoengineering Can Solve Global Warming

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Norwegian Newspaper Discovers Cellphone Surveillance Equipment Around Country's Parliament
Aftenposten's report claimed the newspaper found IMSI-catchers -- also known as 'stingrays' -- placed inside fake mobile phone stations near government and parliamentary buildings in Oslo. Some of the spy devices were also located near Prime Minister Erna Solberg's residence.
Must read: 10 George Orwell Quotes that Predicted Life in 2014 America
New Evidence that US Government Intentionally Lied Us Into Iraq War

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Shopping Cart Rage Is A Thing Now, Especially Around The Holidays
Sure, you've heard about road rage but did you know that shopping cart rage is a real and growing problem that is playing out in supermarkets across the country? In fact, its an epidemic that was first documented by researchers in 2005. Since then cases of shopping cart rage have been increasing in frequency – especially around the holidays.
Road rage, air rage, shopping cart rage... More people are seeking the good life even as energy constraints shoehorn everyone but the super-rich into increasingly small spaces, both physical and mental. Keep expecting more blow-ups as rage boils over everywhere. -- RF
Big data analysis coming to math classes
The Yomiuri Shimbun IBM Japan Ltd. and a Chiba-based nonprofit organization have jointly developed a special program in which guest lecturers are sent to middle school to teach students in math classes how to utilize big data.
The reason is the lack of a credible opposition. No one has any new ideas. -- RF

## China ##
Record Oil Tankers Sailing to China Amid Stockpiling Signs
The number of supertankers sailing to China jumped to a record in ship-tracking data amid signs that the oil-price crash is spurring the Asian nation to stockpile.

## UK ##
Low pay and zero-hours contracts rise dramatically, figures show
New figures have revealed the dramatic spread of low-paid, insecure and casual work across the British economy since the financial crash of 2008. In that year, one in 20 men and one in 16 women worked in the casualised labour market. Now, one in 12 of both men and women are in precarious employment, which includes zero-hours contracts (ZHCs), agency work, variable hours and fixed-term contracts, according to new TUC data.
Air traffic meltdown caused by unprecedented computer failure
Green policies to add up to 40pc to cost of household electricity
Official figures - initially withheld by ministers - show steep rises in the price of electricity by the end of the decade to pay for the Government's policies to tackle climate change
Revealed: 20 nuclear shutdowns per year
The reactors of nuclear power stations across Britain have been shut down 20 times a year because of faults - prompting fears over safety and the UK's energy supply.

## US ##
City hunger and homelessness, in 10 charts
Most Americans' best days are behind them (interactive map)
Median household income peaked at least 15 years ago in 81 percent of U.S. counties. That means that when incomes are adjusted for inflation, most middle class households are actually earning less money than they did years ago.
Nostradamus like spending bill will ensure big banks never fail with your money.
Austin's abandoned homes sometimes lie untouched for years
Look around town and you will find homes with rotting wood, holes in the roofs, and other problems. Sometimes, the process to fix the homes or have them torn down can take years, leaving neighbors with concerns and taxpayers paying for upkeep.
Towns struggle to deal with homes abandoned after Sandy
Even juror pay at risk in squeezed North Carolina system
Trial by jury, a cornerstone of the American justice system, has become a luxury North Carolina is struggling to afford.
Here's what fiscal pain in Kansas will look like
Slumping oil prices paint grim picture for Alaska state budget
Dick Cheney Says CIA Interrogators Should Be 'Praised,' Calls Torture Report 'Flawed' On 'Meet The Press'
Why Millennials are stuck living at home with parents
The impact on first time home buying, renting, and the 2015 housing market. Big jump in foreign EB-5 visas.

And finally...
Man hires crane for dramatic marriage proposal, crane topples and crashes into neighbor's house




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