Thursday, December 24, 2015

 

News Links, December 25, 2015

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards/global cooling/deflationary collapse ##
Puerto Rico 'very unlikely' to avoid Jan.1 default - governor
Europe's Mega-Banks Continue To Slash And Bleed
Global Deflation Alert: China Driving World Steel Prices Sharply Lower
Wal-Mart considers closing 5 percent of Brazil stores: report
Italy approves austerity-easing budget
Junk Bond Crisis Starts To Metastasize!
The Most Profitable Work Will Be Automated: The Rest Will Be Left to Us
This Is Canada's Depression: Surging Crime, Soaring Suicides, Overwhelmed Food Banks "And The Worst Is Yet To Come"
Repo firms work flat out amid oil slump in Alberta
So much for Canada's recovery: Economy delivers 'tough pill' as growth prospects fade into the distance
Australia Gold Export To China In August A Record 13t
Eastern Gold Buying Spree Continues
Russia and Kazakhstan continued their gold buying spree in November, and Turkey added to its reserves as well. Meanwhile, India is on pace for a healthy increase in gold imports this year.
The Dollar Shortage Has Arrived: Africa Runs Out Of Dollars
If We Don't Change the Way Money Is Created and Distributed, We Change Nothing
Singapore Stock Losses Set to Rival Greece in 2015
Zimbabwe Becomes Beijing's First African Colony With Adoption Of Chinese Yuan
Switzerland To Vote On Ending Fractional Reserve Banking
Egypt budget and current account deficits – can Saudi Arabia bail out Cairo?
Trade War Initiated: U.S. wants 256% tariff on steel imports from China

## Cut, baby, cut! ##
Chevron slashes 1,200 jobs in WA at Gorgon LNG project (Australia)
SAIL to report first loss in 13 years, to cut 1,500 jobs
Mexico Oil Giant to Announce Job Cuts as It Tries to Slim Down

## War on cash/cashless society ##
Denmark Pushes Forward with Cashless Payments
Six Out of Ten Americans Won't Turn to Cash for Mobile Payments

## Airline death spiral ##
TSA Moves to Make Ineffective Body Scanners Mandatory
Airport Security New Policies Will Require Full-Body Scans Only For 'Some' Passengers
Southwest Plane Makes Emergency Landing at Oakland Airport
What not to do on a plane: Seven things that really annoy flight attendants
Pilots blinded by Christmas laser light display in Reno
Airlines Are Making It Harder To Take Advantage Of Your Loyalty Points
Researchers propose tweak to three-hour rule for tarmac delays
Flight cancellations are up and researchers suggest that the overall impact of the rule has proven to be a negative for travelers.
Airlines have registered all these weird plane designs in 2015

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Beijing lays claim to South Korean waters
China is demanding that South Korea cede a large portion of its exclusive economic zone in the Yellow Sea to Beijing, including a submerged sea mount named Ieo that hosts a Korean marine research facility.
Kuwait to boost military spending by $20bn
U.N. blames Saudi-led coalition for most attacks on Yemeni civilians
Inside Washington's Syrian Disaster—-Seymour Hersh's Full Expose
The Cost Of Fighting Terrorism: Russia's Anti-ISIS War Is $8M Per Day, Doubling After Downing Of Su-24 Jet By Turkey
Iran Calls On China To Join The War On The Islamic State Group
Syrian government ready to join U.N. talks to end conflict: Assad aide
Assad: Europe, Turkey, Qatar, And Saudi Arabia Made Syria A "Hotbed Of Terror"
Russia's Fight Against ISIS: Moscow Won't Stop Targeting Islamic State Group In Syria After Ceasefire
Russia delivers S-300 missile system to Kazakhstan free of charge
Russia Objects To US Nuclear Missile System Deployment In Romania
Because Nothing Says 'Happy Holidays' Like Illegal Occupation...
Israeli ambassador to the US announces all his holiday gifts will be from occupied West Bank and Golan Heights to combat BDS movement.
Crisis Averted After Israeli, Palestinian Troops Face Off Near Abbas' Home
Declassified: Here's where the U.S. planned to nuke if a war with the Soviets broke out
Boko Haram Militants 'Close To Defeat,' Nigeria's Military Has 'Won The War,' Buhari Says
Soldier shared 'cigs, jam and corn beef' in 1914 Christmas truce, letters reveal

## Migrants/refugees ##
Smugglers earned around $1bn sending 1 million migrants to the EU in 2015
Merkel-Enhanced Migration Problem: Million Refugees Hit Europe, 80% Through Greece by Boat; Turkish Mafia, Banks Pave the Way
US 'preparing to raid homes and deport illegal Central Americans'
18 migrants drown off Turkey in latest refugee tragedy

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Police Whisper Into Protesters' Ear: "Keep On Protesting"
China's Latest Crackdown on Workers Is Unprecedented
Black Lives Matter Minnesota Mall Protest: Demonstrators Call For Justice In Jamar Clark Shooting
Laquan McDonald Protest: Demonstrators In Chicago Take To Streets Christmas Eve Over Shooting
Arrests made as protest blocks roads to Minneapolis airport
India-Nepal: Minority protests take human toll

## Energy/resources ##
America's Top Shale Gas Basin in Decline
Copper Prices Under Pressure As Peru/Ecuador Ramp Up Production
Creditor banks to inject 113 million euros into Abengoa: sources
India says closing in on Westinghouse deal to build 6 nuclear reactors
Oil Price Plunge Is Good For Drivers, But It's A Big Threat To Some Clean Energy Technologies
Are Solar Panels Lifespans As Long As Industry Claims?
El Nino drought cuts down on Christmas lights in Colombia
Already this year, 238 cities across Colombia have rationed electricity.
Milan Limits Vehicle Use For 3 Days Next Week To Curb Pollution
Oil Bankruptcies Reach Highest Quarterly Level Since Recession (US)
Extreme Oil Bears Bet on $25, $20 and Even $15 a Barrel in 2016

## Got food? ##
Dalene Bowden, School Cafeteria Worker, Fired After Giving Hungry Student Free Lunch
Lunch lady who says she was fired over free meal offered job back

## Lifestyle solutions ##
Why you might retire to a tiny house — by choice

## Environment/health ##
'Unprecedented Situation' in Brazil as Number of Cases of Virus-Linked Birth Defect Explodes
In the Year's Final Indignity, Slime Coats Brazil's Pristine Beaches
'Almost too late': fears of global superbug crisis in wake of antibiotic misuse
"Unstoppable" California Gas Leak Now Being Called Worst Catastrophe Since BP Spill

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Kim Dotcom Can Be Extradited To US, Says New Zealand Court
Researchers Solve Juniper Backdoor Mystery; Signs Point to NSA
Iranian Hackers Claim Cyber Attack on New York Dam
Data breach exposes records of Hyatt Hotel customers
Data breaches down in retail, but soaring in health care
Electronic Arts acknowledges widespread access problems for its video games
Feds Scrambling to Close Backdoor in Widely Purchased IT Gear
Hyatt Just the Latest in Wave of Cyberattacks
NSA Helped British Spies Find Security Holes In Juniper Firewalls

## Propaganda ##
Threatened by Powerful Voice, Industry 'Attack Dog' Hired to Discredit Teenage Anti-GMO Activist
Top Editor Quits the Las Vegas Review-Journal Two Weeks After Oligarch Sheldon Adelson Buys It
The Truth About Poppy Bush—-Why Meacham's Opus Is Pure Whitewash
21st Century Media Verdicts (China)

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Decommissioning Costs Pile Up For Energy Infrastructure
It isn't just nuclear power plants. Renewables too will require greater-than-anticipated costs for scrapping end-of-life installations. The writer suggests that creating a proper sinking fund to finance decommissioning will solve the problem, but net energy decline will substantially increase the difficulty of paying enough into such funds, and fund investments won't realize the hoped-for returns. The result will be a global landscape littered with dangerous abandoned nuke plants, and rusting renewable hardware like wind turbines and solar panels. -- RF
Ford recalls Crown Victorias, Mercury Grand Marquis over headlight defect
Fiat Chrysler recalling 570,000 SUVs for fire risks
2015: The Year of Lying Dangerously

## Japan ##
Ministry to conduct mock cyberattacks to boost Japanese companies' security
Japan must prepare for lower yen, JPMorgan says
Crumbling infrastructure: Mortar pieces weighing 23 tons fall from inside Chiba tunnel
Japan court clears way to restarting Kansai Electric nuclear plants
Gov't to discontinue use of spent nuclear fuel transport vessel
Japan Approves Record Defense Budget as China's Presence Grows
Yen Weakens Past 125 Per Dollar for First Time Since 2002
JPMorgan says Japan Inc. must prepare for yen at less than ¥100 a dollar
Japan argued against declaring region nuke-free at 1975 U.N. forum
Mitsubishi Regional Jet: Delivery delayed further by weak wing
Abe, BOJ urge higher wages; businesses unconvinced
Record 790,000 foreigners work in Japan, many tackling risky jobs
Japan is increasingly depending on foreign workers to meet a shortfall in the domestic working population, but many of the jobs are menial or ones that nobody else wants.
Job applications for military down 20% as parents fear for children's safety
Immigration Bureau inundated with e-mails 'snitching on' Korean nationals, suspends program
Baffled by a surge of e-mails snitching on resident Koreans as "illegal aliens," the Immigration Bureau shut down its tipster program on people overstaying their visas and contacted the police for assistance.

## China ##
40 cities on pollution alert as north China continues to choke on smog
Shenzhen landslide: 'Safety last' mindset enrages locals
China Proposes A Fix For Its Crashing Housing Market: "Transplant" 100 Million Farmers Into Its Cities

## UK ##
'Victorian' disease resurgence in England follows global pattern
Diseases that many developed countries thought they had relegated to history are seeing increased rates during the last several years, including tuberculosis, cholera, measles, whooping cough and scurvy.
More than 20 British Muslim families denied entry to US, claims London imam Ajmal Masroor
Refugee crisis: Inside the Dunkirk camp where 2,500 refugees live in conditions 'far worse' than the Calais Jungle
More pain for George Osborne as ONS cuts UK economic growth
Theresa May wants to see your internet history, so we thought it was only fair to ask for hers
Under the new Investigatory Powers Bill announced by Ms May the internet browsing history of everyone in the UK will have to be stored for a year and police and security services will be able to access the list of visited websites without any warrant.
U.K. Consumer Borrowing Rises at Fastest Pace Since Early 2007

## US ##
Alcohol Killing Americans At Record High Rates, Says New Study
Hot Startup Whacked Down 60%(!?) Whither the Tech Boom?
4th Quarter GDPNow Forecast Plunges to 1.3% Following Housing and Other Data; What's Next?
The Distressed-Debt Trades That Obliterated Bonus Checks in 2015
With oil and coal prices simultaneously falling to unforeseen lows, the bonds and loans of energy companies lost much of their value. The agony quickly spread to other industries, from materials to retail to industrials, and traders struggled to find safe havens and preserve their paychecks amid the rout.
U.S. Calls for 256% Tariff on Imports of Steel From China
"Core" Durables Goods Orders Plunge For 10th Consecutive Month As Defense Spending Soars Most In 8 Years
If it wasn't for America's war machine, the economy would be deep in recession.
If war is good for the economy, then we have a serious problem. -- RF
The Housing Recovery Was Just Cancelled (Again) Due To 5 Months Of Downward Revisions
58 Facts About The U.S. Economy From 2015 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe
The incredible shrinking middle class: Half the country is either living in poverty or damn near close to it
New reports indicate two thirds of Americans can no longer afford to fix their cars. Our Congress should be ashamed
US Suspends $1.2B In Funding From Civil Asset Forfeiture Program To Police Departments
Investors Pull Out of Mutual Funds at the Fastest Rate in Two Years
Which State Has the Most Per-Capita Household Debt? Despite What You Think, it's Not California

## The candidates ##
Hillary Clinton favors closing half the nation's schools
Half of Voters Would Be 'Embarrassed' by Trump as President, Poll Finds
AP INTERVIEW: Carson suggests campaign shake-up is coming
Paul Craig Roberts 'Evaluates' Donald Trump
Excellent: VIDEO: Ralph Nader on the Corporate Elections
In this video, Abby Martin interviews legendary activist Ralph Nader about who has power in America and about the 2016 presidential race—from the "brownshirt" Trump movement to "corporate criminal" Hillary Clinton.
At age 81, this man is still amazing. If his informed diatribe against America's corporate government system doesn't anger you, you probably don't have a pulse. -- RF

And finally...
'Taco' thievery: Robbed Vegas restaurant mocks bandits




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