Thursday, November 27, 2014

 

News Links, November 28, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Oil price fall starts to weigh on banks
Banks including Barclays and Wells Fargo are facing potentially heavy losses on an $850 million loan made to two oil and gas companies, in a sign of how the dramatic slide in the price of oil is beginning to reverberate through the wider economy.
'Le Black Friday' Goes Global With Deals Just a Click Away
Spend, baby, spend! -- RF
France, Italy, Belgium may break budget rules, EU to revisit in March
Giving Thanks For The Oil Collapse: It Reveals The Phony Recovery And Speculative Rot Beneath
"There Will Be Blood": Petrodollar Death Means A Liquidity And Oil-Exporting Crisis On Deck
World has reached peak gold (PDF)
Prosperity Amidst the Ruins
Australian Broadcasting Corp slashes jobs, radio
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation will cut 400 jobs and close five radio production centers as government funding shrinks. In addition to the sweeping job cuts, managing director Mark Scott told staff Monday that the ABC would review its property holdings and sell one of its buildings in Sydney.
Downsize, baby, downsize! -- RF
Another recession may be devastating for heavily indebted countries, report shows

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Pilot Close Calls With Drones Grow Rapidly, FAA Reports 
American Air's Envoy: 'An Airline That Is Coming Apart'
Inventor of Knee Defender insists airlines shouldn't sell the same space twice
Will lower fuel prices cut airfares?
Rude air passengers fuel holiday frustrations
Foul bathrooms, long lines, terrible traffic: You'll never believe which airports are the worst
This guy is betting your flight will be on time
Payouts for tarmac delays! But of course this had to come sooner or later. -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
France To Send 6 Mirage Jets To Jordan Against Islamic State
Key provincial capital in Iraq may be about to fall to Islamic State
NATO To Deploy Tanks In Eastern Europe Shortly After VP Of Europarliament Says Ukraine-Russia War Imminent
NATO Wrestles With New Fast-Reaction Force Prompted By Ukraine Crisis
NATO's planned new fast-reaction force, centerpiece of its response to Russia's annexation of Crimea, is proving harder to set up than expected because of shortages of vital equipment and arguments over funding, diplomats say.
Russian military forming drone squadron for Arctic reconnaissance
Google Gives Up On Renewables
US to renew emergency oil supply agreement with Israel
Thailand elections 'could be delayed until 2016'
Washington plays Russian roulette
11 Corpses Dumped In Same Mexico State As Apparent Student Massacre
China Strengthening Claim To South China Sea Oil And Gas
The American Imperium In Shambles: A Review Of Washington's Blinding Incompetence In Afghanistan And Iraq
Namibia in talks to allow PLA naval base at Walvis Bay

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
LAPD arrests about 130 Ferguson protesters in downtown L.A.
General strike shuts down services across Greece
Baaaaa! Sheep farmers protest in Paris
Black Friday strikes expected at dozens of Walmart stores
Italian police to use Predator drones
Italian police agreed on Wednesday to start using drones as a way of monitoring major events and responding to natural disasters, while national media said they could also be used during protests.

## Energy/resources ##
For The World's Largest Rig Operator, The "Recovery" Is Now Worse Than The Post-Lehman Crash
19 US Shale Areas That Are Suddenly Endangered, "The Shale Revolution Doesn't Work At $80"
Bakken Sweet Spots Are Petering Out
Oil price to close some projects, will return to fair level - Russia
Monster Wells: Hundreds Of Fracking Wells Using 10-25 Million Gallons of Water Each
OPEC keeps oil output on hold despite low prices
Oil services sector rocked by plunge in SeaDrill's stock
Waste To Energy Could Be Long-Term Renewable Solution
No, it couldn't. The waste stream from a dying system is not a dependable energy source. This scheme is like a snake eating its own tail, and the snake is wasting away from malnutrition and disease. -- RF
Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
Don't get excited. -- RF

## Got food? ##
How America's Thanksgiving turkeys got so huge
Low food inflation tightens squeeze on Europe's grocers
Sweet potatoes make a bitter harvest for farm workers

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
In retirement, a big house can lead to the poor house
Sustainability of Heating with Wood
But heating entire homes will become impossible, with any fuel. Gird yourself for austerity. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Number of Ebola cases nears 16,000 as Sierra Leone loses ground: WHO
The death toll in the world's worst Ebola epidemic has risen to 5,689 out of 15,935 cases reported in eight countries by Nov. 23, the World Health Organization said on Wednesday.
Ebola vaccine 'promising' say scientists after human trial
Go, Dog, Go! South Africa Is Sick of the Rhino Poachers
Rhino horns are made of the same material as human hair or finger nails.
Is Spate of Texas Earthquakes Connected to Nearby Fracking Operations?
Tropical fly-borne illness reported near Damascus - WHO
E-cigarettes have 10 times more carcinogens: Japan researchers

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Panopticon society: #HappyTracksgiving : How your travels are tracked this holiday season
Hackers force message on websites via US firm
Twitter misrepresents the real world, computer scientists warn

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
The Population Bomb - revisited by What Is Sustainable
Toyota recalls more cars for dangerous Takata air bags

## Japan ##
This Country Will Be The Next Zimbabwe...
Japan Two-Year Note Untraded as BOJ Buying Has Yield Near Zero
6 facts about Japan's downbeat economy
Gov't eyes system for power firms to tack reactor decommissioning costs to power bills
There will never be enough money for decommissioning, in any country. -- RF
Japan eyes military aid to spur defense exports, build security ties: sources
Japan is considering creating a government-backed financing arm for weapons exports, a move that would accelerate Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's shift away from the country's pacifist past and strengthen Tokyo's regional security ties as China's military power grows.
Abenomics Is In The Ambulance—–But Too Late To Save JGBs
Nearly 50% of Japanese firms suffering due to weaker yen, online poll suggests

## China ##
China Seeks More U.S. Help to Return Fugitive Corrupt Officials
China opens its defence equipment production to private sector
After me, the deluge: China's hydropower dams prompt regional concerns

## UK ##
Terrorism laws: 'Time is right' for new police powers
Police and security services will get new powers as the UK faces a terror threat "perhaps greater than it has ever been", the home secretary says.
Campylobacter: Dirty chicken scandal: food expert calls for boycott of chicken
A leading food expert and adviser to successive governments has called for a boycott of supermarket chicken because of "scandalous" levels of contamination after tests revealed that up to eight in 10 show traces of a potentially lethal bug.
Ageing population will compound deadly effects of heatwaves caused by climate change
More patients, fewer doctors – is the NHS facing a winter crisis?
Caterpillar: Union says engineering firm plans 140 job cuts

## US ##
Plans for UCLA visit give rare glimpse into Hillary Clinton's paid speaking career
Video shows Cleveland officer shooting 12-year-old Tamir Rice within seconds
Ferguson grand jury papers full of inconsistencies
Did They Want More Violence In Ferguson? 10 'Coincidences' Too Glaring To Ignore
This Is What $11.71 Trillion Worth Of Household Debt Looks Like
Junk Bond Carnage, One Company at a Time
Stuck In Reverse And Descending Into Trauma
$1 million-plus home sales up 16%
U.S. jobless claims rise to 300,000
Lackluster consumer income and spending point to a slowing economy
Utilities Facing Coal Shortages Due To Rail Congestion
Five Things To Watch For In 2015——More Of The Same Extend And Pretend
HUD's privatization scheme may herald end of public housing
At a time when a shortage of affordable housing is devastating low-income families, U.S. policymakers appear to have all but given up on the idea of a state-managed public housing system. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) says more than $26 billion is needed to repair the nation's aging public housing, a backlog that has left many residents in deteriorating living conditions.
Town Considers Switching Off Street Lights To Save Money
New York towns and villages are in a continuous tug of war between balancing their budgets and staying under the tax cap. One Greene County municipality is taking a hard look at turning street lights off to save money.


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

 

News Links, November 26, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
The Smiling Face of Austerity: More Welfare for Rich Landowners in the EU
Global Business Outlook: "Darkest Picture since Financial Crisis." US Deterioration "of Greatest Concern"
Another Keynesian Debt Boondoggle: How Brussels Plans To Turn Zero New Cash Into A $400B Stimulus
Juncker's €315bn EU Slush Fund is €299bn Sleight of Hand Magic
Court of auditors warns of multi-billion EU budget gap
Member states will be required to contribute a further €326 billion to the 2014-2020 EU budget. This may affect the Commission's ability to meet all the requests for payments, and of countries to pay their dues, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) warned.
Central Banks: When We Succeed, We Fail
Goosing stocks ever higher will eventually push wealth inequality to the point that it unleashes social instability.
Corruption Report 2014: Many Companies 'Sleepwalking' Into Potential Disasters, Risk Management Firm Says
ICBC to Build Offshore Yuan Center in Los Angeles
Total Chinese Gold Reserves Approaching 16,000t
Senate report shows how easily banks can rig gold, copper, and other markets
Here Comes France: Right-Wing Leader Marine Le Pen Demands Central Bank Repatriate French Gold

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Tarmac trouble: U.S. runway close calls soar
Near runway collisions involving commercial airplanes climbed two-thirds from 2003 to 2013 at U.S. airports to a rate of nearly one per day, as a shift to major hubs led to increased traffic in most of those cities.
Looking at airline fees in 2008 compared to 2014
Iata to offer 'rescue fares' in Europe when airlines fail

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Islamic State fighters battle Iraqi forces near Baiji refinery
Rand Paul Demands Declaration of War Against ISIS
Why the Ukraine Crisis Is the West's Fault (Foreign Affairs)
Russia Halts Coal Supplies to Ukraine
Hacked US Documents Said To Reveal Extent Of Undisclosed US "Lethal Aid" For Ukraine Army
U.S. Drone Strike Math – 41 Terrorists Targeted, 1,147 People Killed
U.S. to leave more troops in Afghanistan than first planned - sources
Vienna Talks Fail to Reach Agreement on Iran Nuclear Program
Iranian Nuclear Talks To Continue Until July
US Navy testing new drone killing laser weapon in Gulf
NATO: Russia-Abkhazi military agreement violates Georgia's sovereignty
US watches as Beijing forges ahead with S China Sea oilfield plans
Nuclear war: A forgotten threat to human sustainability

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Street clashes break out as Hong Kong clears part of protest zone
Missouri governor orders more troops to Ferguson after riots
Dozens arrested as Ferguson protests spread to cities across US

## Energy/resources ##
European and UK Gas Security
Follow The Sand To The Real Fracking Boom
When it takes up to four million pounds of sand to frack a single well, it's no wonder that demand is outpacing supply and frack sand producers are becoming the biggest behind-the-scenes beneficiaries of the American oil and gas boom.
The Unwelcome Reality For U.S. Coal Exports
U.S. coal export capacity is running well below capacity, and as such, exporting coal from the U.S. west coast is a losing strategy. That comes from a new report put out by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), which found that despite the very lofty plans by many coal companies to ship coal to rapidly growing markets in Asia, doing so would result in a financial loss.
The 2014 Oil Price Crash Explained
This model explains how a drop in demand for oil of only 1 million barrels per day can account for the fall in price from $110 to below $80 per barrel.
Russia's Gazprom Neft partners with Petrovietnam to tap Arctic oil
South Africa's Eskom says needs more funding to keep lights on
Eskom instituted rolling blackouts for the third time in 2014 at the weekend as fuel reserves ran out, forcing it to call on industrial customers to cut their consumption by 10 percent.
Statist Economics At Work: The Colossal Waste Of George Bush's Mandatory Ethanol Standard
What a waste! The energy return on corn ethanol is absolutely pitiful, even if it's in the plus column. Such a system would never have been created under a rational energy policy. -- RF
Google Engineers Explain Why They Stopped R&D in Renewable Energy
Facing escalating pushback, Canada's oil sands industry goes on the offensive

## Got food? ##
In wake of China rejections, GMO seed makers limit U.S. launches

## Environment/health ##
Ebola victims' bodies left in hospital doorway by protesting burial teams
Experts Urge Federal Task Force: Listen to Science. Ditch Neonics
Moms, Farmers Head to Court to Keep Maui from Becoming 'Poisoned Paradise'
The Real Cost of Fracking: How America's Shale Gas Boom Is Threatening Our Families, Pets, and Food

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Navy Veteran is Fired from Hotel Job and Called a "Terrorist" for Posting Pictures of DHS Vehicles on Facebook
Hackers blackmail Sony Pictures, attack computer network
Online or at counter, shoppers worry about hacks
CNN's Ferguson Selfie: A Disgrace To Journalism
DHS Set to Destroy Governmentwide Network Surveillance Records
"Regin" World's Most Advanced Cyber Snoop Hits Russia, 4 Other Countries; Western Intelligence Agency Likely Responsible
Chinese Threat To U.S. Power Grid Closer Than Thought

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
"We are starting to break down": Why so many Americans feel traumatized
Is Your Stuff Falling Apart? Thank Walmart

## Japan ##
Young Japanese worry about future amid recession
Abe Sales Tax Backfiring With More Debt Not Less: Japan Credit
GPIF assets swell to record ¥130.9 trillion in September
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has urged the fund, supervised by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, to buy more risky assets to seek higher returns, aiming to ensure the long-term sustainability of Japan's universal pension system.
Japan transport min sets up task force to deal with air bag recalls
Bank of Japan's Kuroda resolute in fight against deflation, says ready to ease more
Tepco starts filling cable trench with cement as it pumps out radioactive water
As gold prices surge, more sellers fail to report sales

## China ##
China's ICBC to set up offshore yuan center in Los Angeles
China's Industrial and Commercial Bank (ICBC) signed a pact with the Los Angeles city government to promote cross-border yuan trade and set up an offshore renminbi center in California, the bank said on Saturday.
Is China Building a Mortgage Bomb?
China Moves to Cut Smoking, Cigarette Advertising

## UK ##
Black Friday shopping catches on in UK
Tougher rules for getting mortgages help to cool UK housing market

## US ##
Economic goals of young and old pulling in diverging directions: times will only get tougher for young Americans.
High-end shopper thrives while low-income survives
A Tale Of Two Credit Markets: New Auto Loans Highest In 9 Years As New Mortgages Slump Near Record Lows
Yo-Yo Sales: For Subprime Borrowers, Car Contracts With Many Strings Attached
Hard-Pressed Consumers Are Dropping, Not Shopping—Galllup Xmas Survey Plunges 8% In Last Month
The Federal Reserve Is At The Heart Of The Debt Enslavement System That Dominates Our Lives
Moonlighting No Help to Americans Seeking to Buy a Home
America's Budding Police State
Forget Ferguson, 244 Teenagers Have Been Shot In Chicago Since Michael Brown Died
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Fired
Drone pilot wanted: Starting salary $100,000


Sunday, November 23, 2014

 

News Links, November 24, 2014

I'll be operating on a reduced schedule for the next two weeks.

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Money Lacking for Facade of Berlin's New Palace
The Wrath of Draghi: Biggest German Banks Impose "Negative Interest Rates"
Dow, S&P 500 push further into record territory
Pump, baby, pump! -- RF
The Astonishing Rise of Central Bank Fear
Disinflation A Worry Not Only For Europe But Also For The World
Europe's Season Of Discontent: The Anti-Brussels Revolt Flourishes From North To South
Some 16,867 voters in southeast England ushered in a season of European political tumult that in an extreme scenario could lead to Britain exiting the European Union, Greece quitting the euro or Catalonia seceding from Spain.
Beijing Looks Into The Abyss……And Threatens To Keep Digging
Islamic State reportedly buying silver, gold as it prepares to issue currency
Wrong Three Ways: Europe Not at Risk of Full-Blown Deflation Says ECB Vice President
How Canada's auto loan bubble has become a ticking time bomb

## Airline Death Spiral ##
American Airlines unit to transfer 50 regional aircraft, cut jobs
Estonian Air reports $8 million 9M net loss; expects new shareholder in 2015
Give us bigger seats! Fatter profits might follow
One of the most troubling travel stories of 2014 was a report that airlines are considering a new class of service — and I use the term "class" loosely — called economy "minus."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
As nuclear pact hangs in the balance, Israel weighs action against Iran: Jerusalem Post
Iran says nuclear deal 'impossible' by Nov. 24 deadline
US tells Iran to consider nuclear talks extension
U.S. plans to arm Iraq's Sunni tribesmen with AK-47s, RPGs, mortars
Iraqi forces say retake two towns from Islamic State
ISIS threatens government center in Iraq's Anbar province
China making overtures to island nations in strategic backyard
China is offering generous financial support to countries in the South Pacific in hopes of strengthening its economic and military influence and eclipsing the Taiwanese and American presence in the region.
Lockheed, Pentagon ink $4.7 billion deal for eighth batch of F-35 fighters
Kenya Military Kills 100 Al-Shabaab Terrorists In Wake Of Deadly Bus Attack
Report says pictures show China building reef island
Obama Order Expands Afghan War Powers in 2015

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Mexican president burned in effigy as tens of thousands mark day of protest
The Plebs Are Revolting – Utah Bill to Shut Off Water to the NSA Moves Forward
Israel promises tough measures to stop wave of attacks in Jerusalem
Demonstrators clash with French police over protester death
FBI Sends 100 Agents to Ferguson Ahead of Grand Jury Decision

## Energy/resources ##
South Africa's Eskom declares "power emergency"
Iran leases oil storage in China; ships crude to India from there: Sources
Israel pitches 'massive' natural gas pipeline plan to Europe
Energy minister proposes multi-million euro idea to fellow energy ministers in Rome; project would reduce EU dependence on Russia
S.Korea announces four more nuclear reactors to be built
They won't be built. -- RF
China Needs 1,000 Nuclear Reactors to Fulfill Its Climate Pledge
More techno-pie in the sky. Some of the renewable capacity will no doubt be built, but the nukes are totally unrealistic and out of the question. -- RF
Russia to seek new partners if Western oil majors leave - minister
OPEC's Easy Days Setting Oil Production Are Over, Veteran Says; You Need Russia, Norway, Mexico
The Changing Face of World Oil Markets
China and India to account for 35% of global oil trade

## Got food? ##
New Research Says Plant-based Diet Best for Planet and People

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Education vs. School – Why We Are Homeschooling Our Children

## Environment/health ##
Cuban doctor sick with Ebola to be flown to Geneva for treatment
Backyard pesticides show up increasingly in California watersheds: report
Evacuation plans readied as Buffalo flooding looms
Scientists Confirm: 2014 Set to Be Hottest Year in Recorded Human History

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
European Parliament may propose Google break-up in draft resolution
'Resist Surveillance': Human Rights Groups Launch Tool to Detect Spyware
Amnesty International released a free program on Wednesday that scans computers for surveillance software that is often used by governments to spy on journalists, human rights lawyers, political organizers, and other activists—technology that has been discovered to be in use in countries around the world.
New Malware Used for Surveillance in 10 Countries, Symantec Says

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Mass Abduction Reveals a Decaying Mexican State
10 Examples Of The Social Decay That Is Eating Away At America Like Cancer
The Falcon Can No Longer Hear the Falconer
Mexico on the Brink – But of What?
The Mexican government blames the nationwide protests on groups seeking to "destabilize the country" and undermine the "reform agenda." But in this militarized, corrupt society, the risk of escalation of violence is immense.
Nuclear commander lost job after being caught playing fake poker chips
Toyota recalls nearly 423K Lexuses for fuel leaks
Malled: The Hollowing Out of an American Institution. 'We Surrender'

## Japan ##
Gov't to reduce sales tax on food, other items in April 2017
Damage worse than thought in Nagano earthquake
As debt piles up, Japan tries to lock in low borrowing costs
Increase in forward exchange contracts to combat weak yen
Medical facilities in Japan training staff to handle Ebola cases

## China ##
Chinese Corruption Goes "Tebie Juda" (Extremely Huge): General Scalps One Ton Of Cash Selling Promotions
China ready to cut rates again on fears of deflation: Sources
On The Looming Wall Of Chinese Defaults, Restructuring Firm Warns "You Know It's Coming"
Property, manufacturing woes help trim China's shadow banking

## UK ##
In Great Britain, Protecting Pedophile Politicians is a Matter of "National Security"
UK police: up to 5 terror plots foiled this year

## US ##
"Serfdom is the New Normal" – Talkin' Oligarch Blues with Perpetual Assets
Demise of the nuclear family: Multi-generational living is here to stay in a low wage economy
Over 57 million Americans live in multi-generational households.
Hillary The Hawk: Meet Her War Party Team In Waiting
Go Figure—– 86 Million Full-Time Workers, 148 Million Govt. Beneficiaries
Five Ugly Decades of Middle-Class Wages in America
Disconnected: Millennials talk big, do little about money
West Coast port strife: The retail worry
Cleveland boy with pellet gun dies after police shoot him
Bank of America hires U.S. officials for financial crime team
Bank of America has hired two U.S. government officials to join its financial crimes team, according to three people familiar with the matter, as banks are under increasing pressure to police their transactions for suspicious activity.
American Ranking Plummets in Global Index of 'Personal Freedoms'
State Budgets Reeling from Low Oil Prices
How Police Use Military Tactics to Quash Dissent
Illinois Law to Fix $111 Billion Pension Deficit, Worst in U.S., Is Struck Down


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

 

News Links, November 20, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
3 Of The 10 Largest Economies In The World Have Already Fallen Into Recession – Is The U.S. Next?
What do we do when the bubble economy cannot be reflated?
Half Of Liberian Workforce Not Working Due To Ebola Virus: World Bank
Peugeot plans to cut 3,450 French jobs in 2015: sources
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF
EU to Japan: Drink more beer
Such demands show what is wrong with the consumer system. People can only consume so much, for various reasons, and there is already appalling waste. No new ideas? -- RF
Fed focused on sunny side, downplayed global woes in October
The U.S. Federal Reserve wrestled with whether to nod to financial market volatility and a weakening global economy in its policy statement last month, but opted not to out of worry it could send an unwarranted signal of pessimism.
God's regift? Pope Francis raffling off gifts to him to benefit the poor
As The "Sanctions War" Heats Up, Will Putin Play His 'Gold Card'?
Global Cooling Alert: Iron Ore Tumbles 47% In 2014, At 5-Year Low
Rich hoard cash as their wealth reaches record high
AUSTRALIA GOLD EXPORTS TO CHINA: Two-Thirds Of Its Gold Mine Supply

## Airline Death Spiral ##
9 airports where flying is about to get a lot worse
Security lines that snake along endlessly, significant flight delays, lost luggage, sullen and overworked gate agents. These are just some of the nightmares that flyers experience at airports when they travel on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, the busiest day of the year for airports, thanks to passenger volumes that are between 108-259% higher than the average day. And soon, that may be an everyday occurrence at airports.
Airplane Ticket Prices On Rise Despite Lower Jet Fuel Costs
JetBlue reduces legroom, adds bag fees
Indonesia's flag carrier expects full-year loss
Here's why airline insurance rates are going up next year
Malaysia's AirAsia X to brake capacity expansion, cut flights after third-quarter loss

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Rare car bomb in Irbil, Kurdish Iraq's capital, targets governor's compound
Baghdad Sends $500 Million To Kurdish Officials To Ease Oil Tensions
Islamic State 'outbidding' al-Qaida in South Asia
Isis has enough weapons to carry on fighting for two years, UN warns
Terror financiers are living freely in Qatar, US discloses
After 13 years, 2 wars and trillions in military spending, terrorist attacks are rising sharply
Iran seeking Saudi help in nuclear talks with West
Russia Wants Guarantees Ukraine Won't Join NATO
Russia's relations with Hungary warm as ties with West chill
While the Ukraine crisis is straining ties between many EU capitals and Moscow, Hungary - which relies heavily on Russia for natural gas supplies - is enjoying a rapprochement with the Kremlin.
Hungary says South Stream pipeline only way to ensure gas supply
Russia And China To Conduct Joint Naval Exercises In The Mediterranean And Pacific In 2015
Russia shifting foreign policy focus to Asia-Pacific
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding warship
Amid a growing diplomatic crisis between Vladimir Putin and the rest of Europe, hundreds of Russian sailors have reportedly  been prevented from boarding a warship built for them in western France.
This Is What Is Really Taking Place Behind The Scenes Of The Second US-Russian Cold War
Report Finds Gulf States Unstable Despite Resource Wealth
Russia loosens gun laws to allow people to carry rifles
Whispers about Russia's so-called 'satellite killer' grow louder

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
St. Louis Police Forum Urges Civilians To Get Guns
As America nervously awaits potentially violent demonstrations following a grand jury's expected decision about whether to indict Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson, a St. Louis police forum saw calls for civilians to arm themselves against protesters.
Very clever. Calling for the public to arm themselves against protesters (who are also the public) makes the protesters look like criminals and also divides the public into two groups and drives a wedge between them. -- RF
Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Sparks Rush To Hire Security Guards
A Fifth Person Dies After Attack At Jerusalem Synagogue
Tens of Thousands in Athens Commemorate Revolt Against US-Backed Military Dictatorship
Hungary Public Outrage Day: 10,000 Hungarians Protest Against Corruption, Orban Government
Students clash with police in central London, in pictures
Ireland cuts planned water charges in bid to quell protest
Taxi drivers stage park-in protest at SFO airport
District Thai: 'Hunger Games' Comes to Life in Defiant Salute to Coup Leader

## Energy/resources ##
Gulf Of Mexico Deepwater Reserves May Have Been Overestimated
The truth about fossil fuel subsidies
What Blows Up First—–Shale Oil Junk Bonds
The future of energy: You may be walking on it
Although presented as wondrous gadgets that will carry us forward into a Glorious Technological Future, efforts in this direction at this stage are actually a sign of desperation. Needless to say, there's nothing wrong with efficiency or recovering waste heat, but proponents are underestimating the scale of industrial civilization. -- RF
Solar farms will still need subsidies far beyond 2020, industry admits (UK)
Solar Trade Association says large solar farm will need subsidies until 2025-2028, despite claiming last month that all solar panel projects could be subsidy-free by 2020
South Africa's latest power struggle: unpaid bills
Biggest U.S. power grid PJM hits monthly record due to cold snap
Middle East violence pushes oil prices up
Cheap Electricity for Poor Squeezing Out Solar in India
Directorate: Oil Firms Demand Excessive Returns Offshore Norway
Oil companies in Norway are frequently demanding excessive returns on their investments, raising the risk that some oil will never be produced, Bente Nyland, the director of the Norwegian Petroleum Directorate said.

## Got food? ##
Iraq: ISIS Stole 1 Million Tonnes of Grain From Captured Territory

## Environment/health ##
Don't rake your leaves, scientists say
Don't stop there. Let's also get rid of monoculture lawns. -- RF
Sicker seniors: US lags on elder health vs. other nations
UN Calls for 'Fast-Track' Approach to Combatting Worldwide AIDS Epidemic

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
NSA Surveillance To Continue: Senate Votes Against USA Freedom Act
WhatsApp encrypts messages from beginning to end
University of Rhode Island Removes Gruber Video After It Goes Viral
The University of Rhode Island (URI) removed a video of Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber discussing how he exploited the American people.
Fusion Centers are spying on innocent Americans & have virtually no oversight
Push for cashless payments in developing nations
This is important because it will allow governments and corporations to track all purchases and eliminate privacy. Further, the increased use of credit cards is important because propping up the Ponzi economy requires finding more and more new people to take on debt. Ultimately the cashless economy will fail because the electric power supply and internet will become unreliable.  -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Growth: the destructive god that can never be appeased
The blind pursuit of economic exapansion stokes a cycle of financial crisis, and is wrecking our world. Time for an alternative.
Neo-Feudalism Has Officially Arrived – Congressman Suggests Building a Moat Around White House
Long-time readers know that I have been observing the transformation to neo-feudalism. Here again, I am not the only one. It's so obvious now that even the most casual observer can see what is happening. -- RF

## Japan ##
Why Japan's Money Printing Madness Matters
The Abenomics death spiral
Japanese Trade Deficit Streak Hits Record 44 Months, Yen & Stocks Decoupling

## China ##
China's Central Bank Makes Even the Heroic Fed Look Like a Bunch of Amateurs

## UK ##
British Wind Farms Generate More Electricity Than The Grid Can Handle
Campylobacter contamination found in over half of UK's fresh chicken
Controversial benefit sanctions driving more young people to homelessness, charity warns
Government dismisses study linking use of food banks to benefit cuts
Research calls for changes to Britain's increasingly threadbare social security system to stop people falling into poverty
Students' attempt to storm Tory party HQ thwarted by riot police

## US ##
Welcome to the Recovery Part 2 – Washington D.C.'s Homeless Population Expected to Rise 16% in 2014
Citi banker found dead in luxe apartment with throat cut
The growing danger on Main Street: Shadow banking
Dollar General, Family Dollar still in talks with FTC
The New York Post reported that Dollar General may have to divest more than 4,000 stores to win approval for a deal or be forced to raise its $80 per-share bid.
San Diego Approves $3.5B Recycled Water Project
Racial gap in U.S. arrest rates: 'Staggering disparity'
Salt shortage again? Here's your play
Forest Service OKs Fracking in Largest National Forest on East Coast
Financial Fraud 101: DOE's Phony "Profits" On Green Energy Loan Boondoggles
21 Facts That Prove That Dependence On The Government Is Out Of Control In America
Crime-Fighting Robots Go On Patrol In Silicon Valley


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

 

News Links, November 18-19, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
'Red warning lights' flashing for global economy
"$1.6 Trillion in Defaults Coming," Legend Says
Disappointment Becomes Norm for Global Growth as Japan Contracts
"Mystery of the Unexpected" Explained; Japan Slides Into Recession Yet Again; Blue Ribbon Panel in Review
Reading Mish is so refreshing. If only more people had his honesty and outspokenness. Indeed, there is nothing "unexpected" about Japan's crashing economy. Why anyone would believe that Abenomics or any of its variants around the world could fix anything is totally beyond me. -- RF
Tiger Economy Loses Its Roar as Thailand's Exports Slump
Thailand is heading for a second straight year of slumping exports, something the onetime tiger economy hasn't experienced in at least two decades.
Australia, China Agree Landmark Free Trade Deal
French shops to open on Sundays to revive flagging economy
Belgium new sick man of Europe on debt-trap fears
New accounting rules have revealed that Belgium is poorer than previously thought
G20's new growth plans suspiciously long in the tooth
"Debt Trap" Nonsense; Eurosceptics on Rise; Demise of the EU: "Soon There Won't be a Europe" Says Telegraph
Global Gold Demand Is Overwhelming Supply
Report: Iran Opens Gold Plant, Doubling Production
Ukraine Admits Its Gold Is Gone: "There Is Almost No Gold Left In The Central Bank Vault"
Standard Chartered to close MidEast branches
The global lender announced on Tuesday that it would shut down the branches across the Middle East, Africa and Asia as it attempts to shore up profitably. Standard Chartered had 1,248 branches across the world in June, with more than 10 million customers in 34 countries.
Sears Canada loss doubles to $118-million, while sales fall almost 10%
Crooks Blow Up ATMs in Crimes Leaving Chileans Stuck in Line
Here We Go Again: Demand For Subprime Debt Is "Out Of Control"
Great Graphic: Shifting Center of World Economy
Job seekers in S. Korea face bleak outlook in 2015
According to private think tanks on Friday, the country's job market will likely decline next year, with Samsung, Hyundai and other large groups planning to reduce the number of recruits to cope with sluggish conditions.
Australian Broadcasting Corp budget cut could lead to 500 job losses by December
Verizon Said to Plan About 1,000 Job Cuts Through Buyouts

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Air traffic timelapse: untangling Britain's plane-filled skies
Why airfare keeps rising despite lower oil prices
United Pushes Frequent Flyers to Use Miles for Airport Food, Booze
What can't you buy with frequent-flyer miles these days? From kitchen gadgets to charitable contributions to all-inclusive vacations, airlines have been pushing an expanding menu of rewards—anything to avoid giving away more free flights.
Investigators Exclusive: Newark Airport runway incursion radar malfunctioning
Airlines need to accept their role in creating air rage
Frontier blames rising taxes, landing fees for Denver job, flight cuts
Flight Crowding No Justification for 'Knee Defender' in Poll
Japan to introduce facial recognition system at airports in FY 2017
Fewer paying customers have Singapore Airlines scrambling to adjust
Airlines oppose higher airport fees for passengers

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Another Russian Military Plane Intercepted Over Baltic By NATO Jets
Kissinger Warns "We Need A New World Order"; Ukraine Should Forget Crimea & NATO
The 'Caliphate's' Colonies: Islamic State's Gradual Expansion into North Africa
Mossad-Backed Jundallah Pledges Support for ISIS
ISIS Militants Have Army of 200,000, Claims Senior Kurdish Leader
The Islamic State (Isis) has recruited an army hundreds of thousands strong, far larger than previous estimates by the CIA, according to a senior Kurdish leader. He said the ability of Isis to attack on many widely separated fronts in Iraq and Syria at the same time shows that the number of militant fighters is at least 200,000, seven or eight times bigger than foreign in intelligence estimates of up to 31,500 men.
Militant attack deaths soar to all-time high: report
The number of people killed in militant attacks worldwide jumped more than 60 percent last year to a record high of nearly 18,000 and the figure could rise further in 2014 due to an escalation of conflict in the Middle East and Nigeria, a report showed on Tuesday.
SIGAR: Pentagon's Economic Development in Afghanistan 'Accomplished Nothing'
The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) says he is investigating the Pentagon's efforts to spark that country's economic development, which cost between $700 million and $800 million and "accomplished nothing."
The Neocons' Nefarious Agenda—–"Regime Change" Everywhere
Churches Wrecked, Men Hide in Trees in Nigeria's New Caliphate
Tanzania evicting 40,000 people from homeland to make room for Dubai royal family
40,000 Masai people will be evicted from their homeland in Tanzania, because the Dubai royal family has bought it with the intention of using it as a reserve to hunt big game.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protests Over Mexican Missing Students: Riots In Mexico Rage Ahead Of Planned Strike
As readers know, I have long maintained that decommissioning costs will be far greater than estimated, and that economic collapse will mean that hardly any money is available for the purpose. Ultimately, decommissioned plants and their deadly wastes will perforce be abandoned, with everyone simply hoping for the best. Nuclear reactors still commissioned and running when it's too late to decommission them will likely melt down and explode, a la Fukushima, while spent fuel pools will boil away their water and similarly end in fireworks. If you live downwind of a nuclear facility, too bad for you. But likely so many nuclear facilities around the world will come to disastrous ends that the entire globe will be irradiated. It's going to be an unmitigated disaster. Have a nice day! -- RF
Sprawling across roughly 5 square miles of federal desert near the California-Nevada border, the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating System opened in February, with operators saying it would produce enough electricity to power a city of 140,000 homes. So far, however, the plant is producing about half of its expected annual output for 2014, according to calculations by the California Energy Commission.
For various reasons, renewables won't be enough to sustain industrial civilization. But I hope more renewable infrastructure will be built now, in a bid to keep the lights on a little longer. -- RF
Water is the biggest output of U.S. oil and gas wells: Kemp
The biggest product of the U.S. petroleum industry is not oil, gas or condensate but water -- billions and billions of gallons containing dissolved salts, grease and even naturally occurring radioactive materials.
Kurdistan And Baghdad Make Interim Oil Deal

## Environment/health ##
Punishing a Professor's Criticism of Israel
Criticism of how Israel treats Palestinians has become a firing offense in some circles, including academia where professors must muzzle themselves or face accusations of anti-Semitism. In the case of Steven Salaita, Twitter posts about Gaza cost him his job.
Santiago's public transport system at full capacity - Bachelet
Santiago's public transport system is operating at full capacity, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said. Her comments come after a power failure resulted in the closure of three key metro lines on Friday – leading to the worst service disruptions in the subway network's history. Hundreds of thousands of passengers were affected. And on Monday morning passengers faced disrupted journeys again following a separate incident, this time involving trains' control systems.
The Collapse Of The Bronze Age - Climate Change Didn't Do It
Cost to Develop a Drug More Than Doubles to $2.56 Billion
It costs drugmakers $2.56 billion to bring a new medicine to market, on average, more than double the price of 11 years ago, according to a study released today.
While no final decision has been made on this (as is evident from the original Japanese article), it wouldn't be the first time the government has handed out free money in a bid to spur consumption. -- RF

## China ##
Haixin Enters Bankruptcy Proceedings Amid Steel Industry Woes
Haixin Iron & Steel Group, an unlisted Chinese steelmaker that halted production in March because of a capital shortage, started bankruptcy proceedings, making it the largest mill in the nation to enter the procedure.
Sinopec to spend billions to handle oil pipeline safety problems
Will young Brits ever be able to buy their own homes?
David Cameron: Europe's poor growth rates are cause for concern
In a bleak assessment following the G20 gathering of international leaders in Brisbane, Mr Cameron warned a fresh global economic disaster could be looming as he urged Britons to back his plan to ensure stability in the UK.

## US ##
Why Washington's Fiscal Math Doesn't Work: 60% Of Households Get More Benefits Than They Pay In Taxes
Nearly half of Florida households are struggling financially, United Way reports
Nearly half of Florida households do not earn enough to pay for basic necessities, according to a report released Tuesday by the United Way that seeks to cast a light on the large group of state residents who struggle financially but do not meet the official criteria for being in poverty.
New Icy Blast to Bring More Freezing Temperatures, Snow
Winter Whack: Nation Faces Arctic Chill; Almost 6 Feet of Snow Forecast Near Buffalo
National Guard deployed to help dig out Buffalo
Heating costs heading up as cold grips nation
Open the Floodgates – Chinese Inquiries on U.S. Real Estate Soar 35% After Easing of Visa Rules
How almonds are sucking California dry
Illinois Pension Debt Soars To $111 Billion
Chicago's Per-Capita Pension Debt, Visualized (Gulp!)
Another Hidden Fiscal Time Bomb: Pension Guarantee Fund $62 Billion In Red
The federal government's safety-net program for private pensions is running a near $62 billion long-term deficit, largely due to long-standing problems in a type of pension plan that is common in transportation, construction and some other industries, according to a new report.
The real Clinton story: 2000
President Clinton declares "National Character Counts Week," issuing a proclamation that reads in part: "The character of our citizens has enriched every aspect of our national life and has set an example of civic responsibility for people around the world."
The real Clinton story, 2001-2008
This is Why Rand Paul is Hilary Clinton's Worst Nightmare
Tuition slowdown hits state higher ed budgets
The mega inflation in college tuition
Since 1985 college tuition costs have soared by 538 percent. No surprise that total student debt is now over $1.22 trillion.
Prepare for another winter nat gas spike: Expert
Japan recession could slow some US companies
These CEOs make more than their companies pay in corporate taxes

And finally...
Study: 10-second kiss enables transfer of 80 million bacteria
"Vape" is word of the year


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