Sunday, February 22, 2015


News Links, February 23, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
IMF/EU At Work: Sinking Ukraine In Massive, Unrepayable Debts
Chart Of The Day: 90 Percent Of Industrialized Economies With Policy Rates Near Or Below Zero
Debtors' Prison: Global Debt Has Grown $57 TRILLION Since 2007 With 100 Percent Of Sovereign Debt Monetized
What the ECB Has to Do to "Prevent a Market Meltdown": French Megabank
The truth is out: money is just an IOU, and the banks are rolling in it
Alberta to close three diplomatic trade offices in spending cuts
The Alberta government is shuttering three of its diplomatic outposts and suspending plans to open two more in the latest sign that low oil prices are forcing the province to check its ambitions during a time of austerity.
Russia Cut to Junk by Moody's on Ukraine Crisis, Oil Price Fall
De-Dollarization: Russia Ratifies $100 Billion BRICS Bank
5 Reasons Brazil is Getting Close to the Brink
Australians are once again flocking to London to find work
Alarming report reveals rampant poverty across Europe
More than a third of the population in Bulgaria, Romania, Greece, Latvia and Hungary are at risk of poverty and social exclusion, according to a new report. In half of the EU's 28 member states, at least one in three children live in poverty.
West Coast port dispute costing Honda 25,000 vehicles
Greece gets four-month loan extension, averts bankruptcy
Greece Readies Reform Promises After Eurogroup Climbdown
Afghan central bank branch employees raid their own bank

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd posts $53 million loss
New Hawaiian Air terminal already delayed one year
Flight Staff Victim of Another Air Rage Incident
Why flying stinks, and you're still paying more
American Airlines Strands Luggage From Multiple Flights In Miami; Blames 'Technical Issue'
'They can't keep brushing this under the carpet', says victim of aerotoxic syndrome
What is aerotoxic syndrome?
Pilots' retirement age to be raised to 67 to cope with shortage
The Japanese transport ministry has decided to raise the retirement age for airline pilots to 67 from 64 to cope with a shortage in pilots.
Japan to get Asia's first jet biofuel refinery
This won't amount to a hill of beans. -- RF
Three Wyoming airports facing steep federal cuts

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Ukraine Crisis: UK, EU Made 'Catastrophic' Errors In Reading Russia's Mood, Report Says
The Draft Dodgers of Ukraine
One Year After Washington Installed "Yats": Ukraine's Economy Has Been Shattered
Kerry Says Further Sanctions on Russia Will Be Discussed Over Ukraine
Pro-Kiev militias are fighting Putin, but has Ukraine created a monster it can't control?
Prominent French Journalist Calls For France-Germany-Russia Alliance
Pro-Islamic State Militants Seize Libyan University: Residents
Libyan Islamic Militants Bomb Iranian Ambassador's Residence In Tripoli; No Injuries Reported
ISIS Chemical Weapons Libya: Military Warns Islamic State Might Have Mustard Gas, Sarin
U.S. Official: American Forces May Help Iraq Retake Mosul
US rhetoric collides with Iraqi reality in fight against Islamic State
An Iraqi military officer said Friday his nation's troops will need six months to get ready to retake the city of Mosul from Islamic State, undercutting a U.S. statement that the assault would begin as early as April.
ISIS Airstrikes: French Carrier To Bomb Islamic State In Iraq And Syria Soon, Defense Officials Say
New Defense Secretary hosts U.S. gathering on Islamic State strategy
Myanmar-China Border Conflict: Officials Call On Beijing To Stop Facilitating Rebel Groups
Unwelcome mat: White House tries to counter Netanyahu visit
Turkey Launches Military Operation Into Syria To Evacuate Troops Guarding Tomb, Says State TV
Sydney Siege Report Signals Tighter Immigration Curbs In Australia
Yemen's Hadi flees to Aden and says he is still president
Iran sends high-level negotiators to Geneva nuclear talks
New Silk Road taking shape with freight train from Yellow Sea to Kazakhstan
China on Wednesday will begin twice-weekly freight service along a 5,600km railway between Lianyungang, Jiangsu Province, and resource-rich Kazakhstan. The new transport corridor is part of Chinese President Xi Jinping's Silk Road Economic Belt scheme.
Beijing builds infrastructure and influence in Asia
Looking to up its influence in the region, China is using its growing financial clout to fund infrastructure development throughout Asia.
S. Korea publishes pamphlets to promote claim to isles disputed with Japan
Palestine threatens to cut security ties with Israel

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Saudi King unleashes a torrent of money as bonuses flow to the masses
Tens of thousands of Argentines march to demand answers about dead prosecutor
Industrial unrest hits West Bengal again
Rallies held as water crisis intensifies in Karachi
Hundreds Protest Police Shooting of Violent Illegal Immigrant (Graphic Video)
Anti-Israel Protest Shuts British Factory of Drone Producer
Brazilian Truckers Protest Fuel-Tax Increase

## Energy/resources ##
Fracking Bust Deepens, Sets Records
In the latest reporting week reported Friday, drillers idled an additional 34 oil rigs. Now only 1,019 rigs are still drilling for oil, down 590 rigs from the October peak, a 37% plunge in 19 weeks. The steepest rig-count plunge in the data series.
Nuclear renaissance: Is There Any Hope Left For Nuclear Energy?
Summer blackouts looming – DOE (Philippines)
2-hour rotating brownouts hit Metro Cebu homes, establishments (Philippines)
Shale Producers Postpone Oil Well Completions
U.S. refinery strike widens to include country's largest refinery
Taps Start to Run Dry in Brazil's Largest City
Water shortages a problem in cities across Iran
Sub-Saharan Africa's electricity demand to quadruple by 2040: McKinsey
The US proposes the first-ever federal regulations for Arctic oil and gas drilling
What is Saudi Arabia not telling us about its oil future?

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Indianapolis sees surge of metal thefts

## Got food? ##
Inside the food industry: the surprising truth about what you eat
Organic farming continues to rise across the globe
For the First Time, USDA Approves Fruit Genetically Engineered for Aesthetic Reasons
Food shortage in the Sahel imminent – FAO
Modi bets on GM crops for India's second green revolution

## Environment/health ##
Drug-resistant malaria continues to spread
Superbug cases spur FDA warning on dirty medical scopes
Los Angeles hospital 'superbug' takes toll on infected
New Killer Virus Found in Kansas
Infections Of Deadly Superbug Reported In North Carolina
DailyDirt: Plastic Is Everywhere, Run For Your Lives
Evolution is making nature bigger and bigger
Feral cats, foxes driving Australia's mammals to extinction: study
Natural gas drilling is causing earthquakes in Europe too
USGS Confirms Oklahoma Quakes Are Due To Fracking
What Singapore Can Teach All Cities About Using Urban Green Infrastructure To Mitigate Megadroughts
In the final analysis, however, all big cities are unsustainable. -- RF
Cluster of fracking quakes in Alberta prompts tougher rules for shale drilling region
Balkan dam boom threatens Europe's last wild waterways
More is known about rivers in the Amazon than Europe's last wild waterways in the Balkans. But these unique ecosystems in southeast Europe could soon be gone, along with endangered species such as the Balkan lynx, if plans for over 2,000 dams go ahead, conservationists warn.
HIV strain found in Cuba could be the most aggressive ever studied in humans

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
"We Messed Up Badly" Lenovo Admits Putting Tracking Software On Your PC
Cars Are Delivering Tons Of Driving Data To Manufacturers With Minimal Security And Even Less Transparency
Hackers Still Camping Out In State Department's 'Secure' Email Server Three Months After Initial Break-In
Is the Web Destroying the Cultural Economy?

## Propaganda ##
The 1 reason Pope Francis is becoming the world's top capitalist
Pontiff's embrace of anti-birth-control dogma plays into the hands of perpetual-growth worshipers.
US Government Isn't Promoting Unrest In Venezuela: US State Department

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Mass Immigration Proposed As Solution To Japan's Population Problem
States scramble as federal highway funding erodes (US)
As drivers travel aging roads and crumbling bridges, federal highway funding is failing to keep pace with inflation in nearly every state.

## Japan ##
As societies begin to crumble owing to net energy decline, this is the general direction they will head in order to quell unrest and maintain order. And keep watching for martial law. -- RF
Vast majority in Japan haven't felt improvement in economy
The recovery in Japan's economy has yet to reach the public, according to Nikkei Inc.'s latest opinion poll, with 81% of respondents saying they have not sensed any tangible improvement.
Govt aims to commercialize seafloor mining in 2020s
The government is aiming to commercialize the mining of rich seafloor deposits around Japan of such mineral resources as copper in the 2020s, according to officials.
Given the doubts about commercial viability, this is an indicator of increasing desperation. -- RF

## China ##
China Buys More Gold Than The World Produces
Youth unemployment rate is worst for 20 years, compared with overall figure
Britain cannot defend itself against Putin's military might, top brass warn
Former RAF chief says that Britain's defences have been 'decimated' and would not survive a Russian air attack

## US ##
The Bad Cop Database: A radical new idea for keeping tabs on police misconduct.
Auto loans, student debt, and credit card debt surge in latest report. Total non-housing debt now at $3.15 trillion.
Subprime Pump-and-Dump Frenzy Heats Up
Subprime auto loans become triple-A rated structured securities
US East Coast refineries seize up as deep freeze strikes
Sub-zero winter temperatures disrupted more than two-thirds of the U.S. East Coast's oil refining capacity on Friday, freezing rivers, upsetting cooling systems and hindering maintenance work.
Police seize property and cash in questionable raids
Police seized more than $24 million in assets from Michiganders in 2013, under asset forfeiture laws. In many cases the citizens were never charged with a crime but lost their property anyway.
Fuel-hauling trains could derail at 10 a year
The federal government predicts that trains hauling crude oil or ethanol will derail an average of 10 times a year over the next two decades, causing more than $4 billion in damage and possibly killing hundreds of people if an accident happens in a densely populated part of the U.S.

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