Saturday, December 20, 2014


News Links, December 21, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Oil Price Pain: Who's Next After Emerging Markets And Fracking?
Low Oil Prices Killing Off Fuel Subsidies
The Keynesian PhD Brigade Strikes Again: Sweden's Riksbank Joins The ZIRP Mania
Emerging markets: The Biggest Economic Story Going Into 2015 Is Not Oil
Fed calls time on $5.7 trillion of emerging market dollar debt
A Russian TARP? Russia Begins Rescue Of Country's Banking System
Russia Busts "Gold-Selling" Rumors, Reports It Bought Another 600,000 Ounces Taking Gold Holdings To New Record High
Global Automakers Get Blasted in Russia by Ruble Crash
US/NATO Building "New Berlin Wall" by Expanding Military Footprint: Putin
Russian Roulette: Taxpayers Could Be on the Hook for Trillions in Oil Derivatives
Southeast Asian wages fast approaching China levels
Saudi Arabia among world's worst for 'dirty money' flows
More than $30 billion in illicit capital flowed out of Saudi Arabia in 2012, facilitating crime and corruption, according to a new study released by Global Financial Integrity.
Dubai Financial Market's boom and bust

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Japan carrier promoted trainee pilot despite worries: govt
Air Do, which links Tokyo to cities in Japan's northernmost prefecture of Hokkaido in a tie-up with major carrier All Nippon Airways, was also found lax on aircraft maintenance check-ups.
Ukrainian Fund Invests in Failing Armenian Airline
Ghana Still Searching For Private Investor On New National Airline
Airfare Should Get Cheaper In 2015 Due To Plummeting Oil Prices, Experts Say
Guess what comes after plummeting oil prices. What do the experts say? -- RF
Airline industry poised to fly high in 2015
Was 2014 the year of the bad airline passenger?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Why Iran's Influence In Syria Is Likely To Outlive President Bashar Assad's Rule
Iraq's Shiite fighters desert over shortages
War hurting Libyan oil, but NATO rules out intervention
Leaked Internal CIA Document Admits US Drone Program "Counterproductive"
What Will It Take to Be a Superpower in 2025?
The World Is Experiencing The Worst Refugee Crisis Since World War II
Egyptian jihadists thank U.S. for terror designation
The new terror designation was well received by Ajnad Misr, which posted a message to its official Twitter page thanking the U.S. for the "blessing."
Israel bombs Gaza militant base after rocket hits southern Israel

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
70 Arrested in Protest Over Man Killed by Cop in Wisconsin
Anti-Cop Protesters Crash Pro-Cop 'Thank You NYPD' Rally In New York City
Protesters Mass at Mall of America on Busy Shopping Day

## Energy/resources ##
Norway Delays Arctic-Focused Oil Licensing Round Until 2015
Basic Arithmetic Letting Oil Companies Down
Chart shows oil rig count may have long way to fall
Falling oil prices, new regulations spell trouble for Bakken
Calculating The Breakeven Price For The Median Bakken Shale Well
Drilling Our Way Into Oblivion: Shale Was About Land Gambling With Cheap Debt, Not Technological Miracles
Oil markets spark fear in North Sea waters
Oil industry officials told the BBC the more than 40 percent drop in the price of crude oil is putting the regional energy sector in a state of emergency.
Controversy arises over making sure there's enough US Northeast electricity capacity
Ukraine allows firms to import electricity due to power crisis - PM Yatseniuk
The Oil Price Crash of 2014 (analysis)
U.S. oil drillers cut rigs, lowest since May-Baker Hughes
Belgium nuclear plant restarted after sabotage

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copper cable theft delays Metro-North trains
Dozens of Metro-North trains were delayed Friday morning after thieves stole copper cables from tracks in the Bronx late Thursday.

## Got food? ##
Food Prices Grow At Fastest Pace In 3 Years, As Meat Soars (Canada)
Food Prices in Russia Soar as Ruble Tumbles Further
Climate change could cut 18 percent of world food production by 2050
US Agribusiness Licking Its Chops Over Thawed Cuba Relations

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Why You Should Consider Adopting Minimalist Principles
Jesus wasn't a big fan of consumerism but we spend up large for his birthday

## Environment/health ##
Ebola death toll in three African countries hits 7,373: WHO
Listeria Apple Outbreak: CDC Warns Americans To Avoid Caramel Treats After 28 Infected With Listeriosis
Flu Season Is Off to an Earlier Start This Year Than Last: CDC
Test tube likely last hope for dwindling white rhino species
Bears, wolves, wolverines and lynx on the rise in Europe
Fast food slows the brain, new study finds
New study finds children who ate the most fast food were found to have poorer scores in tests for maths, science and reading
Where's Rudolph? Reindeer Populations Are Disappearing Worldwide
Major U.S. cities have passed the 'tipping point' for sea level rise, according to a new study

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Emails Reveal US State Department Influenced Sony's "The Interview" so as to Encourage Assassination and Regime Change in North Korea
The emails also reveal that a RAND corporation senior defense analyst who consulted on the film went beyond "blessing" and outright influenced the end of the film, encouraging the CEO of Sony Entertainment to leave the assassination scene as it was (in spite of misgivings at Sony) for the sake of encouraging North Koreans to actually assassinate Kim Jong-Un and depose his regime when the movie eventually leaks into that country.
German researchers discover a flaw that could let anyone listen to your cell calls.
How CNBC Peddles Imperial Washington's Lies And Propaganda: 'Yats' Is Our Man
Staples Says 1.16 Million Cards Affected in Breach
EU banks counter rising cybercrime as traditional hold-ups decrease
Industry Fears Massive Losses Through Espionage
Ukraine forms 'ministry of truth' to regulate the media
Krugman Joins the Anti-Putin Pack
Official Washington's "group think" on the Ukraine crisis now has a totalitarian feel to it as "everyone who matters" joins in the ritualistic stoning of Russian President Putin and takes joy in Russia's economic pain, with liberal economist Paul Krugman the latest to hoist a rock.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Hubbert's pyramids: the way to ruin is rapid
Rogue Mexican police units leave trail of bodies, including U.S. citizens
Chrysler Expands Air-Bag Recall to 3.3 Million Vehicles
No festive cheer behind the wheel - road rage is worse at Christmas

## Japan ##
Influenza epidemic spreading across Japan
Safety improvement order issued to Airdo airline
Activist challenges secrets law with anonymous whistle-blower website
A Japanese Internet activist and academic is challenging the recently passed state secrets law by setting up a website aimed at  making it easier for government officials to leak sensitive information to the media without getting caught.
Hundreds of Fukushima evacuees sue Tepco for ¥6 billion
Reforms devised for feed-in tariff system
Government sets goals for fertility rate, draws a blank on measures
The government came up with targets for the fertility rate but failed to present any specific step to end the population decrease that could "endanger the sustainability" of Japan.
Ironically, it is the current socioeconomic system that threaten's Japan's sustainability. The current population of 127 million far outstrips the country's ecological carrying capacity. Japan's estimated population during the Edo Period (1600-1868), when the country existed in self-imposed isolation and was entirely self-sufficient, was about 30 million. -- RF
Abe to designate special zones for local revival
30,000 more a year 'should leave Tokyo'
Department store sales fall for 8th month in Nov.
Reforms devised for feed-in tariff system

## China ##
China offers $3 billion in aid and loans to neighbors: Xinhua
China has offered more than $3 billion in loans and aid to neighbors Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Laos to improve infrastructure and production, and to fight poverty, state media reported on Saturday.
Beijing pushes 'go south' policy at Greater Mekong summit
China is steadily pushing ahead with what is seen by many as its "go south" policy aimed at forging closer relations with Southeast Asia. This push includes the planned establishment of an Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which is to help finance infrastructure projects in the Asia-Pacific region.
Just What Is China Buying?
In Sri Lanka's Post-Tsunami Rise, China Is Key

## UK ##
UK households to pay $1.6 bln for backup power plants
British households will pay nearly 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) to help guarantee the country's electricity supply in 2018/19, after a government auction determined who will provide backup power capacity.
Drones given as Christmas gifts will lead to soaring privacy complaints, watchdog warns
The true cost of food
NHS 'buckling under strain' as Christmas approaches
NHS crisis grows as young Britons turn their backs on family doctors
Britain's GP black holes: The North is running out of family doctors, figures show
Local government shake-up: British cities seek to raise own taxes and go it alone
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
Britain's atomic power plants 'could be attacked by drones'

## US ##
The Big Winner in the Rental Home Shortage: Wall Street
Corporate landlords are benefiting from the worst U.S. rental-housing shortage in more than a decade as construction trails demand and more Americans opt to lease rather than buy.
Junk Bonds Are Going To Tell Us Where The Stock Market Is Heading In 2015
Police stop pursuing nearly 79,000 fugitives
In March, a USA TODAY investigation identified thousands of fugitives who police said they would not pursue if they fled the state, usually because they did not want to spend the time or money needed to get them back. The decisions, typically made in secret, allowed old crimes to go unpunished and offered fugitives a virtual license to commit new ones, often as close as in the state next door.
Obama Launches Task Force on '21st Century Policing'
New law to combat electricity theft in Oklahoma City
Just in Time for the Holidays, Another Wall Street Giveaway
Your police raid outrage of the day
The Feds Want to Replace Your Driver's License with a National ID Card
RadioShack Kept Alive by $25 Billion of Swaps Side Bets
Aging Tsunami: In Montana, Aging in Place Takes a Village
Change the names and it sounds just like the Japanese countryside. -- RF
So-Called 'Dumb Money' Flees Junk Debt. The Market Quakes
Dollar Store Nation
Largest percentage of Americans on food stamps while stock market disconnects from working class Americans.
2 Police Officers Killed in Brooklyn Shooting
Nonemployed: As robots grow smarter, American workers struggle to keep up
US Airstrikes Targeting ISIS Cost Over $1 Billion, Pentagon Says
Drought: Texas ranchers seeking alternative incomes
Dynasty: Jeb Bush v. Hillary Clinton: the Perfectly Illustrative Election

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