Friday, May 15, 2015


News Links, May 16, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
BitGold begins trading on TSX Venture Exchange as gold transaction platform builds momentum
These people were apparently not listening when Helicopter Ben said that gold is not money. -- RF
Global Debt Now $200 Trillion!
Shipping overcapacity being destroyed
China Momentum Indicator Plunges to "Hard Landing" Level
The real reason China is buying up the world's gold
"Brazil Just Getting Worse and Worse"
Coal Company Bites the Dust, Again
When Europe Gets Greece's Jingle Mail: Dealing with Default
Why Are Exchange-Traded Funds Preparing For A 'Liquidity Crisis' And A 'Market Meltdown'?
India, China Sign Agreements Worth $10 Billion In Sign Of Warming Ties
Greece In Advanced Talks With China's Cosco Over Piraeus Port Privatization
Chinese Government Inc. has Invested $81 Billion in U.S. in Last 10 Years
Violent bond moves and half a trillion dollars in losses in two weeks signal tectonic shifts in global markets
China, Europe clash over AIIB representation
Peter Schiff, more bullish than ever, sees gold headed to $5,000 an oz.
McDonald's Credit Takes Another Downgrade

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Airline fees not going away: Delta CEO
Airline Seats 4-Year-Old Far From Dad, Charges $88 to Switch
US Airways likely to stop flying this fall
Scientists Find A Surprising Reason Why Airplane Food Tastes Bad: Cabin Noise
One in three pilots fails psychological test in Air India hiring drive
Singapore Air Adds More Premium to Its Premium Economy
United starts bug bounty program but won't pay in cash, only in miles
Bombardier to slash 1,750 jobs, cut business jet production
Spend less on the airline fees travelers love to hate
Getting bumped: Airlines are filling more seats than ever — so why are they still overbooking?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
War Threat Rises As Economy Declines (Paul Craig Roberts)
Islamic State in control of key Iraqi city, advances elsewhere in major setback
The Islamic State on Friday took control of the provincial government center of Ramadi, the capital of Iraq's largest province, and appeared to be in control of most of the city in a major defeat for the Iraqi government.
NATO Seeks Cooperation in ISIL Fight
Government Watchdog: Afghan Military "Will Need Our Help for the Foreseeable Future"
US defense budget already counting on Japan self-defense plan
China is a global economic and political power. Soon, it will be a military one, too
U.S., China set for high-stakes rivalry in skies above South China Sea
Beijing says Philippines, U.S. 'exaggerate China threat' in sea dispute
Report: King of Bahrain skips President Obama meeting for horse show
Not ISIS – Saudi Arabia Prepares to Execute and Publicly Display Beheaded Body of Political Activist in "Crucifixion"
Attempted Overthrow of Burundi President Fails
Iranians Fire Warning Shots at Ship In Gulf
Iranian Revolutionary Guards fired warning shots Thursday at a Singapore-flagged commercial ship in the Gulf that had collided recently with an Iranian oil rig, US officials said Thursday.
Risky Deterrence: Europe Prepares Plan To Fight Human-Traffickers
As the refugee crisis continues to unfold, the EU may seek a UN mandate authorizing the use of military force against migrants seeking to illegally enter Europe via the Mediterranean. But skepticism of the plans in Brussels is widespread.
UN chief alarmed Southeast Asian states turning away migrant boats
Malaysia turns away 800 boat people; Thailand spots 3rd boat
Sinking migrants rescued off Aceh
1,000 survivors of violence, hunger at sea land in SE Asia
Report says Israel offers choice to African migrants: Plane ticket or prison
Vietnam turns to US to buy weapons 40 years after war's end
Russia Leads Huge Post-Soviet Bloc Military Exercise In Tajikistan
In Philippine bay, fear of China trumps fear of brothels
New Russian tanks to get gun that can 'burn through a metre of steel'
Why is the Indian military running out of ammunition?
US, Gulf States To Deepen Military Ties

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protesters rally in Tokyo against security bills
Protesters begin 311-km march against restart of Sendai nuclear plant (Japan)

## Energy/resources ##
Battered US Oil Firms Scramble to Delay Looming Retirement Wave
Patriot Coal: The Latest Casualty In Energy's Hardest Hit Industry
The move comes just a year and a half after the company emerged from its previous bankruptcy. At the time, some secured creditors received repayments, but shareholders bore the brunt of the restructuring.
Electricity a major economic constraint (South Africa)
Wind farms and solar panels 'will cost more than expected' (UK)
Energy bills will rise even more than expected to pay for wind farms and solar panels because ministers have underestimated the cost of green subsidies, a leading think tank has warned.
Nigeria: Aviation Fuel Scarcity - Airlines Cancelled 2,840 Flights in April
Seattle, like it or not, becomes Shell's Arctic base
Tennessee nuclear plant nearly done, 36 years later
How Sustainable is Stored Sunlight?
Warming weather in California exposes vulnerabilities of wind power
Is it possible that wind farms that so many believe will help mitigate the warming of a changing climate will instead be impaired by that very same warming?
Shale-oil producers ready to raise production
Nigerian Economic Growth Slows on Oil Industry's Contraction
Serbia backs Russian gas pipeline interests
US discourages Greece from Turkish Stream
The United States wants Greece to focus on the Western-backed TAP pipeline project rather than the rival Gazprom-favoured project Turkish Stream, a US special envoy said.
U.S. Could Go All Out On Offshore Exploration
Oil Industry Suing U.S. Govt. Over Oil Train Safety Rules

## Got food? ##
US Farmers In "Dire Straits": JPM Warns Of Imminent Liquidity Crunch
The Real Junk Food 'revolution' growing day-by-day: Social cafe movement fed more people in first three months of 2015 than all of last year
USDA creates new government certification for GMO-free
Food banks watch donated produce rot amid labor, transport shortages (Japan)

## Environment/health ##
Deadly Bird Flu Spreading: Nebraska Declares State of Emergency
Governments must club together to pay for new antibiotics to combat global threat of 'superbugs', says report
Fracking may affect air quality and human health, OSU study finds
US says Gulf oil spill could last 100 years
A decade-old oil leak where an offshore platform toppled during a hurricane could continue spilling crude into the Gulf of Mexico for a century or more if left unchecked.
Plastic pollution devastating the world's oceans (video)
Sellafield nuclear waste storage safety limit relaxed following accident
Which is most valuable: Gold, cocaine or rhino horn?
According to study co-authored by UCLA ecologist, the answer is devastating news for Earth's largest animals
Citing Cancer Fears, Colombia Ends US-Backed Toxic Fumigation Program
Huge ice shelf in Antarctica to collapse by 2020
Washington state governor declares drought emergency

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The Bin Laden Murder Mystery
Seymour Hersh, a great journalist with superb sources and the courage to challenge conventional wisdom, has presented a counter-narrative of the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, but Hersh's story – compelling in many respects, even to the New York Times – has some elements that stretch credulity.
This is one of the more sensible takes on this matter. As the writer concludes, neither story adds up. -- RF
Prying parents: Phone monitoring apps flourish in S. Korea
Chinese Hackers Force Penn State to Unplug Engineering Computers

## Propaganda ##
NBC Retracts Confirmation of Detail About "Walk-In" Who Gave Up Bin Laden
First Brian Williams, Now George Stephanopoulos Has Lost All Credibility in Latest Mainstream Media Scandal
The Phony 'Bad Intel' Defense on Iraq (Ray McGovern)
Jeb Bush's stumbling start to his presidential bid has refocused attention on Official Washington's favorite excuse for the illegal, aggressive and disastrous war in Iraq – that it was just a case of "bad intelligence." But that isn't what the real history shows.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
America's Achilles' Heel
The Era of Pretense (Archdruid Report)
Amtrak Derailment 2015: Well Before Philadelphia Crash, US Rail System Lagged Behind Rest Of The World
Well before a crowded Amtrak train derailed in Philadelphia this week, killing at least eight people, the American rail system was struggling to find the money to manage basic maintenance, to say nothing of the long-discussed safety upgrades that might have prevented Tuesday's disaster.
New Takata air bag recall brings total to over 33 million

## Japan ##
Japan Hosts First Global Arms Fair
Japan Cabinet OKs Military Expansion Rules
Japan's cabinet on Thursday approved a set of bills bolstering the role and scope of the military, as the pacifist country redefines its position in the increasingly roiled Asia-Pacific region.
Japanese trading firms to cut investments, sell assets
Japan's big trading houses, stung by large asset writedowns in the wake of the global commodities slump, plan to step up asset sales and wind back investment spending by up to $10 billion over the next three years.
Japan's Attempts at Artificial Island Building
Manufacturing in China: Rising wages send companies in search of cheaper workers
Sharp announces Y222 bil loss; plans thousands of job cuts
Toshiba warns of downward profit revision of over 50 bil. yen
Share index may hit the off switch on Toshiba
Over 1,000 people sue Japan gov't to halt involvement in TPP
Japan's low-earning adults find it hard to leave home, marry
Japan refiners target power business as profits evaporate
Japanese refiners are accelerating plans to invest billions of dollars in power stations to try to drum up more stable income as flagging oil demand at home erodes their core business, executives and analysts said.
Protests against security bills held across Japan

## China ##
Beijing wants total police state video surveillance by 2020
China clears last muni bond hurdle
Chinese authorities have removed the last hurdles on a massive local government debt swap that should also jump start the growth of a market-driven municipal bond market.
China steel consumption likely to fall 6 pct this year -CISA
China's Biggest Real Estate Developers Partner Amid Slowing Property Market
More Chinese Ponzi—–Debt Being Shifted From Big Companies To The Little Guy Via Margin Fueled Stock Market
Xi bets on rail projects to boost slowing economy
Building of military bases overseas a must for China: Duowei

## UK ##
David Cameron Unleashes Frightening Attack on 'Tolerance' Through Proposed Extremism Laws
UK Prime Minister David Cameron Proclaims – It's Not Enough to Follow the Law, You Must Love Big Brother
Tenant evictions reach six-year high amid rising rents and benefit cuts
Bailiffs in England and Wales evicted more than 11,000 families in the first three months of 2015, 51% higher than in same period five years ago
RAF jets scrambled to intercept Russian Bear aircraft flying north of Scotland
Analysis of Britain's £9 trillion of wealth reveals a deeply divided nation
The richest 20% of people hold 105 times more wealth than the poorest
George Osborne calls emergency July budget to reveal next wave of austerity
Only 22 Countries Have Never Been Invaded By Britain (For Now)

## US ##
Oil savings: A $150 Billion Income Windfall Has Disappeared Under the Mattress
Producer Prices, Import/Export Prices Decline Again; Still Think the Fed Will Hike?
Consumer Confidence Plunges Below Any Economist's Estimate; Consumers Shock Economists
New U.S. Recession Already Here
Another Train Derails In Pennsylvania, 10 Cars Off Track Near Pittsburgh - Live Feed
Stan Druckenmiller Sees 'Massive' Problem Caused by Aging
Former German NFL Player: 'American Football Is Like a Nuclear Explosion'
Patrick Venzke was the first German national in the NFL, but he says he paid a high price both physically and psychologically. His case raises questions not only about the neurological problems linked with American football but also about a culture he describes as Darwinism run riot.
Afraid of Losing Trillions, Wall Street Fights Fed Rate Hikes
Student and auto debt fuel credit bubble 2.0
Student loans carry the highest delinquency rate of all debt classes. Student and auto debt up $1.15 trillion in last decade.
Birth Tourism – How Tens of Thousands of Pregnant Chinese Women Travel to the U.S. Just to Give Birth
Unpleasant surprises are waiting down the road. -- RF
Blue Bell lays off 1,450 workers; 1,400 more furloughed
U.S. industrial output falls for fifth straight month
Empire State Manufacturing Weaker Than Economists' Expectations
Amid boom, fears of too many $20 million Manhattan apartments

## The Clintons ##
Hillary and Bill Clinton earn more than $25m for giving 100 speeches

And finally...
Chinese Guys are Faking Drowning to be Rescued by Hot Lifeguards

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