Monday, February 16, 2015


News Links, February 17, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Greece and Euroland's Crumbling McMansion of Debt
Bailout Talks Collapse in 4 Hours; Greece Says Extension is "Absurd"; 79% Support Syriza's Negotiation Stance
Scandinavia's Richest Millennials Might Be in Trouble
30-year-olds in Norway face soaring private debt levels and a wilting oil age
As IMF Extends $17.5 Billion Credit To Kiev, Gazprom Demands Debt Repayment
Asian supply lines hit by U.S. West Coast ports dispute
David Stockman Interview: The Global Economy Has Entered The Crack-Up Phase
S.Africa's Telkom to cut jobs, close some shops
South Africa's biggest landline provider Telkom SA said on Monday it was laying off an unspecified number of staff, denying union claims that it may slash as many as 55 percent of its 18,000-strong workforce in a major restructuring.
Plunging Oil And Other Rivets Popping At The Global Economy's Seams
Thai economy barely grew in 2014 after protests, coup
Has the IMF Annexed Ukraine?
Michael Hudson, an economist at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and author of the upcoming book "Killing the Host: Financial Parasites and Wall Street's War on Capitalism," says the terms attached to the loans made by the IMF to Ukraine are likely to turn its people into penniless serfs of international banks.
We Live In An Era Of Dangerous Imbalances
Reckless Stock-Market Leverage Intoxicates Politicians
Why The Price Of Oil Is More Likely To Fall To 20 Rather Than Rise To 80
Gold Smuggling in Bangladesh Is at an All-Time High — and Its Flagship Airline Is Involved
The Greeks Are Running Towards Gold As The Retail Demand Increases By 123%
Bitcoin ATM Selling Gold and Silver Goes Live in Singapore

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Is the air travel market failing consumers?
This Airline Could Be Shrinking Seats (but It's Not the Only One)
Airline seats are a common complaint among flyers, but new high-density layouts could make economy seats even less comfortable.
Southwest the latest airline to scale back rewards program
LIAT aims to cut over 150 employees
Budget Airlines Shop the World for Cheaper Pilots
Travelers have demonstrated a willingness to sacrifice comfort and convenience for cheap airfares. Now this low-cost ethos is extending into the cockpit, with budget airlines chasing the lowest pay and most relaxed work rules for pilots.
Bankrupt Skymark posts 13.6 bil. yen net loss in April-Dec.
Airlines Consider Requiring Proof Of Vaccination For Domestic Air Travel

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
The Breakthrough In Minsk: How Merkel Outmaneuvered The War Party
Battle persists for Ukraine railway hub, despite peace deal
Argentina and China agree fighter aircraft working group
Argentina and China are to form a working group to look at the possible introduction into Argentine Air Force (Fuerza Aérea Argentina - FAA) service of a new Chinese fighter type, it was disclosed on 5 February.
Forces loyal to president seize parts of Yemen's economic hub
Hailed as a Model for Successful Intervention, Libya Proves to be the Exact Opposite
US kicks off Operation Flintlock amid regional tensions
U.S. special operations forces kicked off three weeks of counterterrorism drills Monday in a series of western African states — including Niger and Chad — despite recent strikes by the insurgent group Boko Haram.
After Conducting Navy Drills In East Mediterranean, Russia Puts Airborne Troops In Volgograd On Alert
Russia To Conduct Observation Flights Over US, Italian Territory: Defense Ministry
Russia will conduct two observation flights over the United States and one over the Italian territory this month under the Treaty on Open Skies, Sergei Ryzhkov, head of Russia's National Nuclear Risk Reduction Center, announced Sunday.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thousands March Across Canada Demanding Justice for Indigenous Women

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Homemade Bath Products: Shampoo, Deodorant and Toothpaste

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Russian researchers expose breakthrough U.S. spying program
The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world's computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.
Hackers Steal $1 Billion in Massive, Worldwide Breach
A prominent cybersecurity firm says that thieves have infiltrated more than 100 banks in 30 countries over the past two years
World's Largest Migration Tracked by Chinese Search Engine Baidu
"We receive 10 billion positioning requests every day, which allow us to monitor when and where travelers go," Baidu spokesman Kaiser Kuo told NBC News.

## Propaganda ##
The One-Sided US Narrative on Iran
In the preferred U.S. narratives, American leaders are always wise and rational but must deal with pigheaded and crazy adversaries. That is the way the current U.S.-Iranian nuclear negotiations are presented inside Official Washington but there is a very different reality.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
This is How the World Ends: Twelve Risks That Threaten Human Existence
The number of gas stations peaked at about 60,000 in 1994, and has steadily declined since. Gas stations typically have multiple pumps that can service a number of cars simultaneously, and require huge capital investment to build, while charging stations require little capital, and as the article notes, even include "home setups." So there is little meaning in comparing these numbers. EVs will never, ever be deployed on the same scale as oil-powered vehicles. -- RF

Plans for air hub twice the size of Heathrow will destroy hundreds of farms near Beijing as observers warn unchecked urbanisation will affect food production
Revealed: more than 500,000 home care visits last less than five minutes
Minister calls for overhaul of home help services after councils admit to rising numbers of fleeting visits, raising fears vulnerable people are being forced to choose between being washed or fed

And finally...

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