Sunday, October 19, 2014

 

News Links, October 18-20, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Handelsblatt: "Four German Banks On The Brink"
Signs of bubble collapse appearing in emerging Asia
More QE? These Charts Show the Pauperization of Workers in the UK and America since 2008
Argentina Announces $1 Billion Domestic Bond Sale To Lift Economic Woes
Even The IMF Gets It—–ZIRP Encourages Speculation, Not Investment
World's Richest Lose $26 Billion as Walton Heirs Falter
U.S. Debt Held by Foreigners Hits Record $6.07 Trillion
Nonperforming Spanish Loans Near All-Time High as Overall Credit Shrinks
Russians and Chinese are ditching the dollar as Europeans start using renminbi in their reserves
Why Venezuela is so desperate, in 5 easy charts
Moody's downgrades Russia to Baa2
Gold Imports by India Seen Rising More Than Fourfold Last Month
With seizures up, Indian gold smuggling loses its shine
Ebola: Insurance's new way to deal with an outbreak
New Gulf projects to hit $180bn this year despite oil price
About $180 billion of contracts for new construction projects will be awarded in wealthy Gulf states this year, the largest amount for six years, despite falling oil prices, according to a new study.
Ebola and the Shipping Industry

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Tiger Airways Holdings operating loss doubles in 2QFY2015
Government to buy Selmun Hotel to stem Air Malta's €25 million loss in 2015
Airline fees are nickel and diming you--you wish
Jackson's airport raising fees, cutting budget to offset loss of Southwest revenue
Air cargo industry bracing for continued loss of freight to ocean, analyst says
A congressman takes on frequent-flier programs for favoring airlines over fliers
Lufthansa cancels 1,450 flights due to pilots' strike
Belgium's Brussels Airport to begin screening passengers arriving from Ebola-stricken zone

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iraqi PM Doesn't Want Foreign Troops, Asks Militias Instead To Help Fight ISIS
Saddam Hussein's former pilots training ISIS how to fly three captured MiG fighter jets, witnesses say
Pentagon preparing for long war in Iraq, Syria
ISIS Battle For Kobani: Fiercest Fighting In Days Hits Syrian Border Town

Saudi oil pipeline set alight amid gunfire
Gunfire directed at security forces set fire to an oil pipeline in eastern Saudi Arabia, just days after a dissident Shiite cleric was sentenced to death.
Either You're the Butcher or You're the Cattle
Or as Senator Mike Enzi famously said, "If you're not at the table, you're on the menu." -- RF
Yemen Civil War: Tenuous Cease-Fire Called As Dozens Killed In Clashes Between Al Qaeda, Houthis
Sweden hunts for suspected Russian submarine in Cold War-style drama
Russia Making Major Push Into Mideast Market
North and South Korea exchange another round of gunfire across border

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Hong Kong protesters retake Mong Kok streets in battles with police
Hong Kong Street Clashes Continue Despite Imminent Talks

## Energy/resources ##
Oil slump means canceled projects as investment declines
The global crash in crude prices is reverberating through the oil and gas industry, pressuring producers to curtail investment to protect profits and avoid cuts to dividend payments.
Coal stocks at power plants lowest in 25 years (India)
BP to restart North Sea gas field half-owned by Iran
BP will restart the Rhum gas field in the UK North Sea, half-owned by Iran's National Oil Company, four years after the field was shut down due to Western sanctions, a BP spokesman said on Friday.
Ukraine says it agrees on interim gas price with Russia
Oil Bust Has Brazil in Deep Water
Modi Eases Fuel Controls in Move to Revive India Economy
India scrapped controls on diesel prices and increased natural gas tariffs in Prime Minister Narendra Modi's biggest steps toward curbing subsidies, spurring energy output and reviving the economy.
Calgary braces for gloom of falling oil prices
Oil decline: Price makes the story
Sydney's Caltex refinery closed as Chevron's crude production and sales continue to decline

## Got food? ##
This is What School Lunch Looks Like in Chickasha, Oklahoma
Plastic containers protect and poison your food
Why there may not be enough chocolate in the world anymore
GMO Purveyors Monsanto & Co. Open New Fronts in Food War
Japan's rice farms rotting from inside
The failure of governments to protect small-scale family farms that rely on traditional methods will be a major factor in promoting global starvation. -- RF

## Environment/health ##
Latest Intellectual Property Chapter Of TPP Agreement Leaked: Would Be A Disaster For Public Health
Another Poke In The Eye For Clean Coal
EPA Analysis Evidence Notorious Neonics Should be Suspended, Watchdog Groups Say
Analysis 'has confirmed what farmers, beekeepers and scientists have been saying all along: neonicotinoids do more harm than good'
Plastic Junk Litters Our Oceans, Killing Sea Life — And It's Getting Worse
Opinion: 1,000 years of Dust Bowls now inevitable
Ebola is getting worse in Guinea and no one's paying any attention
UN's asks $1 billion fast-track fund for Ebola falls woefully short
An alarmed United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in late September asked nations around the world to quickly help raise $1 billion to fight the deadly virus Ebola. As of Friday, only $100,000 has come in -- from Colombia.
Pentagon building rapid-response Ebola team
Why airport screening won't stop Ebola
U.S. Ebola Cases May Exceed Two Dozen by November, Researchers Say

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
WPost's Slimy Assault on Gary Webb
The movie, "Kill the Messenger," portrays the mainstream U.S. news media as craven for destroying Gary Webb rather than expanding on his investigation of the Contra-cocaine scandal. So, now one of those "journalists" is renewing the character assassination of Webb.
Cops Need a Warrant to Grab Your Cell Tower Data, Florida Court Rules
Personal Data up for Grabs in the Great Cyber War
More Than 77 Million Records Hacked So Far in 2014
A total of 606 data breaches have been recorded so far in 2014 by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC). About 77.6 million records have been exposed, including the breach of 56 million credit and debit card numbers at Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD), the largest breach ever recorded for a retail company.
Director Comey Admits FBI does Conduct Surveillance without a Warrant
FBI Director Warns Google and Apple "If You Don't Decrypt Phones, We'll Do It For You"
The FBI Director's Evidence Against Encryption Is Pathetic
Cyber-Espionage and Trade Agreements: An Ill-Fitting and Dangerous Combination
Germany blames pro-Russian rebels for MH17 passenger plane crash: Spiegel
The CIA owns everyone of any significance in the major media."
A Mysterious Iran-Nuke Document
A mysterious document has been used for a half dozen years to derail nuclear talks with Iran, but its origins remain dubious and one expert says it's been used to take international inspectors "for a ride."

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Raising the Dead: Lack of Space Forces Cemeteries Skywards
Why Nations (and organizations) Fail: Self-Serving Elites
VW recalls 1.1 million cars in North America, China over suspension issue
Fiat Chrysler Recalls 900,000 Vehicles
One in every five U.S. cars recalled this year
Takata air bag defects far more severe than revealed
Daikin recalls 840,000 air conditioner and air purifier units due to fire hazard (Japan)
Sediment filling 100 dam reservoirs (Japan)

## Japan ##
46% think towns, cities face bleak future: survey
Another window on the ongoing collapse of Japan's socioeconomic system. -- RF
Japanese Stocks Tumble After BoJ Bond-Buying Operation Fails For First Time Since Abenomics
Half of Tokyo's large-cap shares have P/B ratio below 1
BOJ May Need to Buy More Longer-Term Debt
The Bank of Japan 8301.TO -0.53% is reaching the limit of what it can buy in short-term debt from the market, a development that suggests it may have to shift its asset buying toward longer-term debt.
Tokyo-Nagoya maglev train project OK'd
Any rational person would surely realize that this train line will never be completed. IMHO, the real reason for approving it is to provide construction companies with a smorgasbord of make-work projects. Further, financing will likely require many huge loans, which are welcome because the creation of massive debt is needed to fuel economic expansion.  -- RF
Challenges still ahead for green-lit maglev
Abe keen to establish new Japanese Constitution
Record cesium level detected in Fukushima No. 1 groundwater; Tepco blames heavy rainfall
Nuclear reactor restarts unlikely this year

## China ##
China Takes A Page From SARS To Deal With Ebola Outbreak
China says it's hard to resume cyber security talks with U.S.
Chinese coastguard vessels patrol disputed waters
Slowing housing development drags on China's growth
China central bank to inject $32.6 billion
China's central bank is planning to inject 200 billion yuan ($32.6 billion) into the banking system, according to financial executives briefed on the matter, as recent credit-easing measures have failed to push the world's second-largest economy back to stronger growth rates amid deepening worries about a global slowdown.
China's Banks Are Getting Ready For A Debt Implosion

## UK ##
Ebola screening extended as David Cameron warns virus is 'biggest problem in a generation'
'Disabled are grateful so work harder,' says Tory minister
UK academics set up as the world's first space detectives
Raymond Purdy and Raymond Harris use the growing constellation of cameras that orbit Earth to help solve crime on the ground
Bank of England chief economist 'gloomier' about UK prospects
Under-30s being priced out of the UK, says social mobility tsar
Britain is on the verge of becoming permanently divided between tribes of haves and have-nots as the young increasingly miss out on the opportunities enjoyed by their parents' generation, the government's social mobility tsar claim.

## US ##
113 Federal Reserve Staff Members Make $250,000 Annually
Fed Chair Janet Yellen 'Greatly' Concerned About Rising Income Inequality
She could start at the Fed. -- RF
Ninety percent of US families are no wealthier than they were in 1986
About The Obama Recovery—-No Progress On The Poverty Front
Ebola scare closes Pentagon parking lot
Forget about Ebola – here's why US banks (and your savings) are now EXTREMELY vulnerable
Facing $127 trillion in unfunded liabilities – which is nearly double 2012's total global output – and with no inclination to reduce those numbers at all, at this point disaster for the US is entirely unavoidable.
How Americans go poor by spending money on housing and related expenses
10 Shocking and Wildly Depressing Facts About Being Homeless in Uncaring America
Guantánamo Bay Is Crumbling Into Ruins
Many Americans believe that the Guantánamo Bay prison has been a moral disaster for their country. It's becoming increasingly evident that the prison has been a financial catastrophe, as well.
Sprint cuts 452 jobs at its Kansas headquarters
As debt mounts, Caesars in talks with lenders
Native American schools face decayed buildings, poverty
More than 1,200 weapons including guns and Tasers seized from New York schoolchildren

And finally...
Man arrested for assaulting victim with a burrito


Thursday, October 16, 2014

 

News Links, October 16-17, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Time to reduce reliance on the dollar: Russia PM
Greece 10-Year Bond Yield Soars to 9% as Prime Minister's Gambit Explodes
What Options Are Left for Central Banks?
Siemens to cut 1,200 jobs at German energy ops: German radio
Office Depot to cut 1,100 jobs in Europe
9 Ominous Signals Coming From The Financial Markets That We Have Not Seen In Years
A dizzying day for Wall Street as stocks plunge
The Problem With Central Bank Money Printing Is A Debt Spiral, Not Runaway Consumer Inflation
Dow Has Fallen More Than 1,000 Points in Less Than a Month
The stock market correction has arrived
Massive global volatility, central bank wizardry, geo-political instability, and people finally realizing how overvalued the market has become.
If A Few Ebola Cases Can Make The Stock Market Crash This Much, What Would A Full-Blown Pandemic Mean?
No matter what statistics show, Canada's housing boom is about to end, experts say
"House Price Inflation" in Canada
Is the blindingly magnificent housing bubble in Canada running out of steam? Even the US housing bubble that imploded so spectacularly, pales by comparison. It's so big and so all-encompassing that even the Bank of Canada and ratings agencies publicly fret about the damage it might do to banks, and the entire financial system, when it meets its maker.
Why the State Has Failed to Reform Our Broken Financial System
Expecting the state to truly reform the nation's engines of financialization is like asking the cocaine addict married to the wealthy dealer to divorce the dealer.
8 European Countries In Outright Deflation As Inflation Expectations Crash To Record Low

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Fresh Ebola fears hit airline stocks
5 taken from Logan plane in precaution
Five passengers experiencing flu-like symptoms aboard an Emirates flight originating in Dubai were escorted off the plane Monday afternoon by a team in full hazmat suits at Logan International Airport, and other passengers were kept on board for nearly three hours while officials assessed the situation.
Passenger Wears A Hazmat Suit To Dulles Airport
Worried fliers wear masks as precaution against Ebola
Second Ebola-Infected Nurse Identified, Was Symptomatic With 99.5 Degree Fever While Flying
CDC Demands 132 Passengers That Flew With 2nd Ebola Patient Report For Testing
Airlines Fly Away From Ebola, Leaving Aid Workers Stranded
The Ebola Effect Arrives: Half Of Americans Will Avoid International Air Travel Out Of Ebola Fears

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Turkey Finally Starts Bombing—–The Kurds!
Gen. Allen: US Won't Coordinate With Existing Syrian Rebels
Gen. John Allen, who has been advising President Obama on his new war against ISIS, today revealed that the administration has no plans to ever coordinate with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) or any other of the existing rebel factions. That's a surprise, because officials have been harping on for years about how great these factions are, and have been lavishing them with US arms and funding.
Iraqis desperate for air cover as U.S. moves warplanes to Kobani
How A Dispute Over Tanker United Leadership Explains The Role Of Oil In The Fight Against ISIS
ISIS Poised To Launch Major Attack On Town Just 25 Miles From Baghdad
Kuwaiti Official: Gulf States Plan Joint Naval Force
Russia-US relations reset 'impossible': PM Medvedev
Hidden Agenda Behind the new Free Trade Deals: "Everyone but China"
Climate Change May Lead To War Says New DOD Report
Houthi rebels take over Yemen's Hodeidah port: residents
Egypt Says Its Warplanes Are Bombing Islamist Militias In Libya
Ukraine's Neo-Nazis Demand Respect
Thousands of Ukraine's neo-Nazis surrounded the parliament in Kiev demanding that the government honor Ukrainian paramilitary forces who fought for Adolf Hitler in World War II, another embarrassing reminder of the extremism unleashed by last February's U.S.-backed coup.
Taiwan Considers Permanent Armed Ships For Disputed South China Sea Island
CIA's Own Study Finds US Arming of Foreign Rebels a Failed Operation
While the CIA continues to arm and train "moderate" Syrian rebels, a new, still-classified internal study obtained early by the New York Times finds that the agency's gun-running tactics in conflict areas have almost never succeeded, the Times reported on Wednesday.
Pentagon Reportedly Hushed Up Chemical Weapons Finds In Iraq
No, Chemical Weapons in Iraq Do Not Prove That Bush Was Right to Invade
US Ebola Force Continues To Build in West Africa
Chinese Navy Chief Conducts 'Unprecedented' Survey Of Spratly Islands
More mass graves discovered in Mexico 3 weeks after students disappeared

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Occupy Central: Hong Kong Police Arrest 45 Protesters In Offensive To Clear Blocked Roads
In Response to Violence and Raids, Protesters Blockade Hong Kong Police Headquarters
Hong Kong Protester Ken Tsang Beaten By Police: 'Never Seen That Behavior,' Activist Says
Hong Kong Protests Reignited As Anger Over Police Beating Of Activist Ken Tsang Grips Demonstrators
Photos: Walmart workers arrested in New York and Washington protesting for $15 minimum wage
Street Demonstrations In 21 European Countries Held To Protest Against TAFTA/TTIP; Another ACTA Revolt Brewing?
Cries for 'US Troops Out Now' Follow Soldier's Alleged Killing of Woman in Philippines

## Energy/resources ##
Cash Is Gone: World's Most Expensive Oil Project Just Got More Costly
The Kashagan oil field – the world's most expensive oil project – will face several more years of delays and cost overruns. The project's price tag, already north of $50 billion (other estimates say costs are much higher), will rise by an additional $4 billion as a consortium of international oil companies have to replace two 55-mile pipelines. The episode highlights the growing difficulty that oil majors are having at maintaining their worldwide production levels.
Shale bust: Bulls Running: Frackers Getting Trampled
Toxic Mix Blows up: Oil Price Collapse & Junk Bond Insanity
Oil resumes slump, dipping as low as $80.01
Saudi Prince Alwaleed says falling oil prices 'catastrophic'
Saudi Arabia Still Calling the Shots
Caspian Sea Could Be Key To Russian Control Of Eurasian Energy Markets
The zesty gathering also concluded with a chest-thumping promise not to allow foreign militaries to set up camp in the Caspian region, an obvious snub at NATO's aspirations with Azerbaijan.
Fusion Breakthrough? We'll Build Compact Reactor in a Year: Lockheed
Again, cheap energy — even if there is such a thing — would not stop the Ponzi death spiral. -- RF
The Shale Bubble
Lukoil boss meets Iraqi oil minister
Top 5 Ways Lower oil Prices Could Change the World
There are a number of ways the situation could play out, and this is one take. One prediction, seen here as well, is that it will create difficulties for tight oil production in the US. But shale drilling has been a loser from the get-go, and the industry is already mired in debt. It will collapse anyway, even without the help of lower oil prices. Also mentioned here is that cheaper oil will hinder the development of electric vehicles. It has always been my contention that the EV is an invention whose time never came. The argument for electric vehicles (same for hydrogen vehicles) is a simplistic dream which fails to perceive the indispensable role of oil in the manufacture and maintenance of EVs, in making their tires, and in the construction and maintenance of roads, without which all vehicles are worthless. The EV dream is of course an extension of the dream that we'll be able to run industrial/consumer civilization on renewables. -- RF
Bugs Joining Robots to Overcome Global Shortage of Copper
Seeking to overcome a shortfall that may reach 2 million tons within four years, companies including Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, Central Asia Metals Plc (CAML) and Nautilus Minerals Inc. (NUS) are using specialized microorganisms to extract copper from previously unusable ore, sending robots a mile below the sea to tap rich deposits and recovering the metal from decades-old dump sites in Kazakhstan.
Kuwait moves toward cutting diesel, kerosene subsidies in key reform
Kuwait's government is moving towards cutting some of the energy subsidies which drain billions of dollars from the state budget every year, in a politically sensitive reform which could start to curb waste and overuse of its oil resources.
Germany plans first ever cut to green energy levy
The oil drama
India May Become World's Largest Coal Importer
Plunging Oil Prices a Game-Changer for Major Pipeline Projects

## Got food? ##
Ebola Outbreak 2014: An Impending Food Crisis Worries Officials
U.S. farmers seen cutting fertilizer use as crop prices slide
U.S. farmers are cutting back on spreading fertilizer this autumn in response to a drop in crop prices to multi-year lows and a delayed harvest, dealers say, warning of a pullback that will be felt from grain markets to Canadian potash mines.

## Environment/health ##
Fracking Triggers More Ohio Earthquakes, Study Finds
Google Glass Addiction? Doctors Report First Case of Disorder
Researchers uncover the disgusting truth about NYC rats
Peru says country's glaciers shrank 40 pct in 4 decades from climate change
'Great wall of Jakarta' planned to combat floods in sinking capital
Nurses Say No Ebola Protocol Meant Tape to Cover Skin
Whistleblower nurse describes 'chaos' at US Ebola hospital
Briana Aguirre claims she was given a hazmat suit with a large hole in it and waste from suspected Ebola patients was piled "up to the ceiling" in corridors
Obama's Cynical, Stilted Response to Ebola vs. Cuba's Magnificent Mobilization
Ebola cases nearing 9,000, says WHO
Privatized Ebola
St. Lucia, Colombia Ban Travelers From Ebola-Hit Countries, As Second Case In US Is Detected
US Government Has Ebola 'Do Not Fly List' Of Exposed People: Report
Ebola Nurse Amber Vinson Checked with CDC Before Flight: Source
UN official warns some anti-Ebola measures might violate human rights
UN chief: Fund to fight Ebola has $100,000 in bank
Orphans abandoned, shunned in Africa's Ebola crisis
FEMA Conducting Pandemic Drills Amidst Ebola Crisis
Researchers Expect Over 20 US Ebola Cases In Weeks, "You Don't Want To Know Worst Case"

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Google discloses Web encryption vulnerability in SSL 3.0
Project Censored exposes top 25 most censored news stories of 2013-2014
FBI Warns US Businesses Of Cyberattacks, Blames Beijing
Propaganda 101 – How the Pentagon is Trying to Rewrite Vietnam War History
New Zealand Cops Raided Home of Reporter Working on Snowden Documents
FBI director warns against cellphone encryption
FBI Director: If Apple and Google Won't Decrypt Phones, We'll Force Them To

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Toyota recalls 1.75 million cars worldwide
Trillions in Global Cash Await Call to Fix Crumbling U.S.

## Japan ##
Japan lawmakers say open to limits on casinos in push for bill's passage
Internet addiction rising in Japan
Japanese megabanks trying investors' patience on payouts
SDF jets scrambled 533 times in last 6 months to counter rising Russian incursions
Radioactivity spikes in No. 1 reactor well water
As Japan eyes nuclear restarts, renewables get shut out of grid
Bullying at elementary schools hits record high at 118,805 cases
No biohazard facilities in Japan can handle Ebola
Aging facilities, green staff put factories' safety at risk
Japan's manufacturing industry has been plagued by a spate of serious accidents in recent years, as aging plants and the retirement of experienced employees are believed to have led to the death or serious injury of workers.
Health fees to rise for elderly / Government seeks to stem medical costs
As Communities Block Nuclear Restart, Japan's 48 Operable Reactors Idle

## China ##
China blocks BBC website as Hong Kong tensions rise
They'll Be Watching: Beijing Gears Up for APEC With 1,000 Cameras
More Than 82 Million Chinese Live on Less Than $1 a Day
Chinese Real Estate Buyers Turn to Tokyo

## UK ##
UK energy bill crisis looms as consumers pay more despite using less
Which? says annual spending on gas and electricity has rocketed by 52% above inflation in less than 10 years
Immigration causing 'pressure on housing' in London, claims report
UK to start using wheat for ethanol production
Threat of extremist attack in UK is escalating, say police
About 50 people a week referred to deradicalisation programmes, with 218 terror-related arrests so far this year

## US ##
If the US Deficit is 'only' $483 Billion, why does the Government Have to Borrow $1.1 Trillion to Fill the Hole?
Big Four Economic Indicators Near Stall Speed
Los Angeles mayor vows to cut city's water use by 20 per cent as drought continues to bite
California Drought Might "Persist or Intensify" During Warm Winter: NOAA
Nearly half of Americans haven't planned how much they need to retire
Ten Facts about Being Homeless in USA
Outsourcing Public Services: Governors Push Privatization, With Disastrous Results
WMT cuts sales outlook for fiscal 2015
Wal-Mart Stores Inc cut its full-year sales growth forecast, hurt by a stronger dollar and a bigger-than-expected impact from the cut in the government food stamp program last year.
Sleeping 7-year-old girl shot in head during no-knock police raid on wrong home
For Bank Of America, Crime Is Now An Ordinary Course Of Business
5 Bills in the Land of the Free that are straight out of Atlas Shrugged
I thought that "H.R. 4904: Vegetables Are Really Important Eating Tools for You (VARIETY)" had to be a joke, but checked and found that it is real. What next? -- RF
21-Point Plunge in Empire State manufacturing Index, New Orders Contract; Future Expectations Remain in Stratosphere
Welcome to Arcadia – The California Suburb Where Wealthy Chinese Criminals are Building Mansions to Stash Cash
21-Point Plunge in Empire State manufacturing Index, New Orders Contract; Future Expectations Remain in Stratosphere
Obama Authorizes National Guard, Reserves for Ebola Fight


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

 

News Links, October 14-15, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Too-Big-to-Fail Banks Face Up to $870 Billion Capital Gap 
Euro Zone Seeks To Soften German Opposition To Stimulus Spending
Merkel Vows Austerity Even as Growth Projection Cut
Richest 1% of people own nearly half of global wealth, says report
The next financial crisis - not if but when
Stock Buybacks Peaked With Stock Market in 2007: History About to Repeat?
Ebola deflating hopes for 3 poor African economies
Puerto Rico Sells $900 Million of Short-Term Notes at 7.75%
Half of UAE's $13bn 2015 budget to be spent on social services
Venezuela Default Almost Certain, Harvard Economists Say
The Fourth Central Bank Gold Agreement - what gives?
On 19th May 2014, the European Central Bank and 20 other European central banks announced the signing of the fourth Central Bank Gold Agreement. This agreement, which applies as of 27 September 2014, will last for five years and the signatories have stated that they currently do not have any plans to sell significant amounts of gold.
Pro: Downturn increases odds that EU falls apart
Sweden close to being a cashless society
Saudi Prince "Astonished" At Oil Minister's "Disastrous Underestimation" Of Effect Of Price Cuts
The great Lira revolt has begun in Italy
China to push creation of APEC-wide free trade zone by 2025
Quarter of new Canadian oil projects vulnerable if oil falls below US$80: IEA
Uh-oh, those shady "exports" from China to Hong Kong are back
China steel now as cheap as cabbage, weighing on global price
Ireland ditches tax loophole for multinationals in post-austerity budget

## Airline Death Spiral ##
Ebola crisis: 'huge disruption' expected at Heathrow as screening begins
Experts have warned that enhanced screening is unlikely to stop Ebola arriving in Britain and will bring 'huge disruption' to travellers
Civil Aviation Management Institute of China: lower fares have become inevitable
Premium Economy: What's New in Airline Seating Classification?

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
That Was Quick! Washington's Syria/Iraq War Strategy Already In Tatters
America's plans to fight Islamic State are in ruins as the militant group's fighters come close to capturing Kobani and have inflicted a heavy defeat on the Iraqi army west of Baghdad.
Turkey: No new deal with US on using air base
NATO allies Turkey and the United States differed Monday on where they stand on the use of a key air base, with Turkish officials denying reports from the United States that there was a new agreement on its use for operations against Islamic State militants.
Turkey Attacks Kurdish Positions On Border With Iraq
Fighting Reaches Turkish Border Crossing In Kobani As Airstrikes Fail To Deter ISIS Advance
Militants take Iraq army camp as bombs hit Baghdad
Islamic State forces 180,000 to flee in Iraq
Iraqi Troops Abandon Military Base To ISIS Raising Concerns Over Military Strategy In Iraq And Baghdad's Safety
Robot Ships And Pepper Spray—the Latest in Pirate-Fighting Tech
Evo Morales declares re-election victory in Bolivia
Billions set aside for post-Saddam Iraq turned up in Lebanese bunker
Stuart Bowen, who investigated corruption in Iraq, says US and Iraqi governments ignored appeals to recover money
Kim Jong Un makes first appearance since Sept. 3
Russia signs deals with China to help weather sanctions
US National Reportedly Shot, Killed In Saudi Arabia
U.S. Navy opens ballistic missile defense facility in Romania
UK and Sweden Vote to Recognize Palestinian State

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
St. Louis area police arrest at least 17 during weekend of protests
'Fight Back': Protesters Stage 'Moral Monday' Civil Disobedience Actions in Ferguson
Sea of Irish Protesters: 'Water Is a Human Right!'
State capital building burned in Mexico during angry protest over missing students
HK police use sledgehammers and chainsaws to dismantle protest barriers, reopen major road
Hong Kong Protesters Face Off Against Police, Retake Tunnels
Hong Kong police clear protesters out of tunnel

## Energy/resources ##
Peak oil is here: the view from Barbastro
No Shale Revolution For Europe
Endeavor goes bust on North Sea operations
Iraq reviews oil ties with United States
Privately, Saudis tell oil market- get used to lower prices
IEA sees 2015 oil demand growth much lower, supply hitting prices
U.S. Oil Producers May Drill Themselves Into Oblivion
Russia pitches undersea gas pipeline to Japan
Quarter of new Canadian oil projects vulnerable if oil falls below US$80: IEA
Is Fusion Power Closer Than We Thought?
The 10 Biggest Energy Company Bankruptcies
Investments in Australian LNG Projects Cool amid Cost Blowouts
China starts oil production in South China Sea

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copper thieves targeted communication towers in 14 Texas counties

## Got food? ##
How, when and where to grow superfoods in your garden
Bumper crop brings food price relief for consumers
Report: 2 billion worldwide suffer from 'hidden' hunger

## Environment/health ##
Ebola Panic The New Normal As Outbreak Spreads, Death Count Rises
No Ebola Checks at Brussels Airport After Flights From Liberia
Ebola Scare Prompts Congresswoman To Suggest Not To Allow People From West Africa Into US
Fears for 70 hospital workers who cared for America's "patient zero"
CIDRAP: "We Believe There Is Scientific Evidence Ebola Has The Potential To Be Airborne"
Nurses Warn of 'System Failure' as Ebola Spreads to US Healthcare Worker
Ebola cases could hit 10,000 a week by December, WHO states
Another 100 U.S. Troops Arrive in Liberia to Fight Ebola
More troops tackling Ebola than battling Isil or the Taliban (UK)
U.S. sets up rapid-response Ebola team; Dallas nurse improves
Louisiana Officials Don't Want Ebola Waste in State
A state judge signed an order Monday temporarily blocking ash from the incineration of a Texas Ebola victim's belongings to be disposed of at a southwest Louisiana site.
This is looking more and more like a zombie apocalypse in the making. It's no wonder the US government is recommending that citizens prepare for one. -- RF
NASA says September was warmest on record since 1880
Aluminium poisoning may trigger Alzheimer's disease, claims professor
To grow cheap marijuana, Italy calls in the army
Pesticides and Autism Spectrum Disorders: New Findings from the CHARGE Study
'Global Frackdown' Aims to Slay Myths and Force End to Fracking Bonanza
Massive Methane 'Hotspot' Confirmed in Southwest U.S.
Drugs flushed into the environment could be cause of wildlife decline

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
South Korea identity thefts forces ID overhaul
After an avalanche of data breaches, South Korea's national identity card system has been raided so thoroughly by thieves that the government says it might have to issue new ID numbers to every citizen over 17 at a possible cost of billions of dollars.
Voiceprints being harvested by the millions
Europol Chief: 100 Hacker 'Kingpins' Lead Global Cybercrime
"We roughly know who they are. If we can take them out of the equation, then the rest will fall down," Troels Oerting, the head of the Europol Cybercrime Centre, told BBC's Tech Tent radio program.
You bet! As everyone knows, the War on Drugs, War on Poverty, and War on Terror have all been spectacularly successful. So we know the War on Cybercrime will be a similar success. -- RF
Rise of the Crypto Wars Entangles Apple and Google
Russian Hackers Target NATO, Ukraine and Others: iSight
Ed. Data-Mining Research Effort Wins Federal Grant, Raises Privacy Questions (US)
The National Science Foundation earlier this month awarded a $4.8 million grant to a coalition of prominent research universities aiming to build a massive repository for storing, sharing, and analyzing the information students generate when using digital learning tools.
Edward Snowden's Girlfriend, Lindsay Mills, Moved to Moscow to Live with Him
Why is this important? Read Glenn Greenwald's commentary to find out. -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
New Report – The United States' Sharp Drop in Economic Freedom Since 2000 Driven by "Decline in Rule of Law"
Honda recalls 43,000 2014-2015 Acuras in U.S. to fix front belts
Chrysler recalls 184,215 SUVs for air bag defect
The true cost of Bangalore's traffic gridlock is staggering
Local gov'ts at a loss over unregistered, abandoned houses (Japan)
Twin Peaks: Stock-Market Fear, Oil Panic

## Japan ##
Japan's Monetary Steroid Effect Turns into Drama of Volatility (Brutal Charts)
Japan's weapons-makers now open for business
Gov't approves Hokkaido Electric rate hike
Contracts for interim radioactive waste storage sites in Fukushima due to expire
Local gov'ts at a loss over unregistered, abandoned houses
Cabinet approves state secrecy law guidelines

## China ##
Fake Invoice Doubts Revived as China Trade Skyrockets
Unidentified, Masked People Storm Hong Kong Protest Barriers
Chinese Media Floods Mainland News With Anti-Occupy Hong Kong Coverage
Chinese Car Sales Grow At Slowest Pace In 19 Months
China sentences dozens to death and jail terms for Xinjiang violence
Faltering economy hits China's coal sector

## UK ##
George Osborne: use your pension as a bank account
UK only G7 country with wider inequality than at turn of century
UK retail sales plummet to financial crisis lows

## US ##
Debris from Subprime Auto Loans to Ricochet across Main Street
12 Charts That Show The Permanent Damage That Has Been Done To The U.S. Economy
Two-Thirds Of Americans Are Restricting Spending: Bankrate Survey
Market Swoon May Become "Disorderly on a Scale not Seen since 1987"
Poll: Many insured struggle with medical bills
U.S. Army says it faces huge equipment, training risks with budget cuts
Ebola Scare Prompts Criminal Threat Investigation
New study says most can't afford used cars
Americans face post-foreclosure hell as wages garnished, assets seized
Many thousands of Americans who lost their homes in the housing bust, but have since begun to rebuild their finances, are suddenly facing a new foreclosure nightmare: debt collectors are chasing them down for the money they still owe by freezing their bank accounts, garnishing their wages and seizing their assets.
Why Is the Put-Call Ratio (Fear Gauge) Higher Than in the Lehman Collapse of 2008?
NBC Correspondent Quarantined for Ebola is Spotted Going Out in New Jersey Anyway
NBC's Nancy Snyderman apologizes for violating Ebola quarantine
United Serfs of America – Low Income Workers at Jimmy John's Forced to Sign Noncompete Agreements
Wealthy consumers slow spending
The Military-Industrial Complex Comes Roaring Back—-Syria/Iraq Fiasco Could Trigger $100 Billion Add-On
When Poverty Was the Enemy, Not the Poor


Sunday, October 12, 2014

 

News Links, October 12-13, 2014

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
US and UK to play financial 'war game'
Britain and the US will stage the first transatlantic simulation of a crisis in a large bank on Monday, in a sign of growing confidence that the authorities can now deal with the failure of large institutions.
A "sign of growing confidence"? -- RF
China's Gold-Backed, Reserve Currency
China's Zhou Says Some Countries Using Yuan in Reserves
Some countries are already using the Chinese yuan in their foreign-currency reserves without announcing it publicly, central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan said.
S&P lowers France credit outlook to 'negative'
The stock market is finally recognizing severe global volatility: Stock market has worst performance in two years.
World's Richest People Lose $70 Billion as Musk Falters
The world's 400 richest people lost $70.2 billion from their collective net worth this week amid a global selloff that sent the Standard & Poor's 500 Index to its biggest weekly drop in two years.
Law graduates struggle to find work, even volunteer work (Australia)
Malaysia, neighbors scrambling to beef up finances
Ripple Effects Begin: Dubai Crashes Over 6.5%, Most In 14 Months
Banks accept derivatives rule change to end 'too big to fail' scenario
The $700 trillion financial derivatives industry has agreed to a fundamental rule change from January to help regulators to wind down failed banks without destabilising markets.
Tanzania: Slum Populations Seen Increasing Nationwide
Ebola claims another victim: struggling African economies
WTO at a crossroads amid blocked trade deal

## Airline Death Spiral ##
1 Bizarre Way This Airport Balances Its Budget
As the U.S. airline industry has consolidated and shrunk itself to profitability over the last 15 years, airports in mid-sized cities  were some of the biggest losers. Nearly a dozen U.S. airports have lost major airline hubs, while once-busy reliever airports are now virtually empty.
Well now, this is what I call a winner! Because the shale drilling industry is losing money, we have a situation in which one loss-making industry is subsidizing another money-loser. Truly, it's a sign of impending collapse. -- RF
Air Berlin dealt blow as Germany rejects some Etihad codeshare flights
Air France-KLM to press ahead with low cost brand in France: paper
Greece's privatization project for regional airports gets under way
New York's JFK Airport Begins Ebola Screening Program
Expect a Fare War Now That Southwest Can Spread the LUV

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
ISIS Battle For Baghdad: Triple Car Bombs In Baghdad Could Mean ISIS Battle For Iraqi Capital Is Near
Bombings kill 45 in Shi'ite areas of Baghdad and outskirts: police
214 Killed, 182 Wounded; Bombers Take Toll on Baghdad, Again
ISIS Uses New Strategy In Iraq, Targets Security Forces With Suicide Attacks And Car Bombs
Iraqi province leaders request U.S. ground forces
Gulf states 'could expand anti-IS role to ground troops'
Turkey Agrees To Train Syrian Opposition Fighters As FSA Rebels Join The Fight In Kobani [VIDEO]
In one of its first active decisions to participate the U.S.-led coalition to combat Islamic State militants, Turkey has agreed to train about 2,000 Syrian opposition forces within its borders. U.S. and Turkish Special Forces, who are part of the two biggest armies in NATO, will conduct the training, a Turkish official said Saturday. Turkey has still not intervened in fighting between militants and Kurdish forces on its border with Syria.
US says Turkey OKs use of bases against militants
World War III: It's here and energy is largely behind it
Putin orders Russian troops withdrawal from Ukrainian border: reports
Europe sends in drones to save Ukraine truce
Ukraine Crisis Could Force France To Cancel Multibillion Dollar Ship Contract; Russia Prepares For Court Action
USS America, an amphibious assault ship, set for commissioning
US Joins Southeast Asia's War on Piracy
In a little-noticed move, the United States joined the Regional Cooperation Agreement on Combating Piracy and Armed Robbery Against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP) in late September.
Unshackling US-Iran Policy from Distrust
The neocons still hope that by torpedoing a deal restricting Iran's nuclear program that they can open a route to "bomb, bomb, bomb Iran" – one of Israel's longstanding priorities. But such a course could make a bad situation in the Middle East worse.
European Space Food Falls Victim to Russian Food Import Ban
Missing Vietnamese oil tanker found raided by pirates
Piracy is on the rise in the world's most crucial shipping lane
Infographic: Piracy attacks could rise in South East Asia

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Hong Kong Protests Also Fueled by Widening Wealth Gap
Hong Kong protesters set up camp in Admiralty
South Korean City Fights Against Nuclear Plant
St. Louis Ferguson October Protest: Black Youths' Resolve Remains Firm 2 Months After Mike Brown Shooting
Dozen Arrested In St. Louis Mike Brown Protest; Police Allegedly Pelted With Rocks
These Are The Countries That Have Destabilized The Most Over The Past 3 Months

## Energy/resources ##
US Shale And The Slippery Slopes Of The Law
The shale industry runs on debt, not on energy. And as long as these companies can issue junk bonds at low rates, they will. But that doesn't mean they will ever be profitable. For their owners, sure, they're raking in dough like it's Halloween candy, but for investors in those bonds things don't look so rosy. Shale is a Ponzi.
Letting Go of the Tar (Sands) Baby
Just as is the case in the American tight (shale) oil plays, things in the Canadian tar sands are breaking down fast, and for the same reason: wringing the last few barrels of oil out of the earth is proving to be far more expensive than hoped.
Although peak oil critics claim that the ability to get at unconventional oil shows that technology will solve our problems, the rush to exploit unconventional oil — at great expense and even financial loss — shows how wrong they are. It's in fact a sign of desperation that such low-grade energy sources must be tapped. -- RF
Cold Fusion: A Better Study On The Infamous E-Cat
Here's a rather skeptical take on the E-Cat test results. The author's doubts aside, one thing that caught my eye was the claim that the energy output was 3.5 times the energy input. Even if this is true, it's pitiful. An energy gain of 3.5 x is far too low to sustain industrial civilization. That would have to be at least tripled to make the device anything but yet another fossil fuel extender. Does this mean that "low-energy" nuclear reactions are just that? -- RF
Solar firms, power companies battle over 'net metering' (US)
As nuclear waste piles up, South Korea faces storage crisis
Germany says can't exit coal-fired energy at same time as nuclear
Saudi Arabia's "Oil-Weapon" Hits Europe
Pakistan invites Chinese companies to invest in oil, gas sector

## Got food? ##
Family Farmers, Not Green-Washed 'Climate Smart' Agriculture Is the Solution to Climate and Hunger

## Environment/health ##
Texas health care worker tests positive for Ebola

The Ghost in the GMO Machine
UAE's $18 Billion Sustainable City Is A Ghost Town
The latest weapon in the battle against bedbugs—luggage
Michigan Child Dies From Enterovirus D68, Hospital Says
Not Just California: Droughts Extend Across Americas
Say "drought" and Americans are likely to think California, but the Golden State is hardly alone when looking across the Western Hemisphere: A dry spell has killed cattle and wiped out crops in Central America, parts of Colombia have seen rioting over scarce water, and southern Brazil is facing its worst dry spell in 50 years.
Trees remove enough air pollution to save 850 people a year
Previous studies have shown the ability of trees and forests to moderate temperatures, control erosion, filter water, and even promote more peaceful neighborhoods in inner cities.

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Hackers aim to pull off cyber-heist worth $1 billion: Report
Europe's top investigative body is warning that criminal hackers are targeting global financial firms, The London Evening Standard reported on Saturday, aiming to steal as much as $1 billion.
Snowden Film "Citizen Four" Reveals How He Did It; Second Leaker Involved; Files on 1.2 Million People; Snowden Vindicated
Core Secrets: NSA Saboteurs in China and Germany
The National Security Agency has had agents in China, Germany, and South Korea working on programs that use "physical subversion" to infiltrate and compromise networks and devices, according to documents obtained by The Intercept.
Kmart registers hacked, credit and debit card data stolen
Can MSM Handle the Contra-Cocaine Truth?
Facebook Ads Invade Apps, User Locations
Twitter CEO says IS has threatened his employees for taking down accounts
Google rejects 58% of 'right to be forgotten' requests

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Ebola and the Five Stages of Collapse

## Japan ##
Japan court orders Google to delete data
A Japanese court has ordered Google to delete search results linking the claimant to a crime he did not commit, the latest in a series of rulings around the world on what search engines should tell users.
Slow domestic demand slams brakes on Suzuki's profit growth
Overseas business also proved lackluster. In India, where Suzuki leads the market, sales volume was up on the year but low-priced vehicles made up much of the total. Indonesian sales plunged.
One-third of monitoring cameras at Monju reactor found to be broken
Approximately one-third of 180 monitoring cameras at the Monju prototype fast-breeder reactor were found to be broken during a safety inspection last month, a source familiar with the matter said Saturday, fueling concern about the reactor operator's safety management system.
Japan drafts anti-money laundering bills under pressure from global watchdog
Gov't mulls freezing certification of solar power projects
The government is considering freezing certification of new large solar power projects planned under the so-called feed-in tariff system, people familiar with the matter said Saturday.
Govt plans to promote geothermal power
Tritium up tenfold in Fukushima groundwater after Typhoon Phanfone
The radioactive water woes at the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant got worse over the weekend after the tritium concentration in a groundwater sample surged more than tenfold this month.
Japan rises to challenge of becoming 'hydrogen society'
Here again we see that hydrogen is incorrectly seen as an "energy source." Although hydrogen can be useful in certain applications, it's not an energy source and never will be. This misunderstanding will just lead to disappointment. -- RF

## China ##
China Central Bank Crushes Hopes For A "Large-Scale Fiscal Or Monetary Stimulus"
Pollution in north hits 20 times safe levels
$547,000 for a parking space in Hong Kong
"We'll give you the best price!" for a townhouse in a Chinese ghost villa (Photos)
Hong Kong Protests: Chief Executive CY Leung Says "Zero Chance" Protesters Demands Will Be Granted
Beijing to tap water from thousands of kilometres away
Hong Kong's real estate market could be heading for a reckoning
The Shanghai Free Trade Zone is a dud

## UK ##
UK Authorities Watching 'Thousands' Of Suspected Terrorists In London Closely
UK to start screening Eurostar passengers for Ebola
UK Wind Power in The Doldrums
The lack of wind in the UK this year has already been in the news resulting in poor performance of UK wind farms. UK wind now has 11.2 GW [1] of installed capacity amounting to 13.5% of total generating capacity in the UK. In September the wind park generated 739 GWh amounting to 3.3% of UK demand [2]. The load factor was only 9%.
University students in England encouraged to pee in shower to save water
Edward Snowden says British surveillance is out of control, at Observer Ideas festival

## US ##
Pentagon Says Islamic State Fight Costs $7.6 Million/Day
Here They Go Again: Pentagon's Slush Fund For "War Contingency" Heading Toward $40 Billion Rise
Why Are Police Using Military-Grade Weapons in High Schools?
Asset seizures fuel police spending
Police agencies have used hundreds of millions of dollars taken from Americans under federal civil forfeiture law in recent years to buy guns, armored cars and electronic surveillance gear. They have also spent money on luxury vehicles, travel and a clown named Sparkles.
California: Desperation Rising as Water Runs Out
Voters Kept out of Loop by Design
By handing the responsibility of bailouts to the Fed and other central banks, lawmakers can pretend they're not involved.
Documents Show NYPD Has Paid $428 Million in Settlements Since 2009

And finally...
Spiders force family from upscale Missouri home
A family was driven from their suburban St. Louis home by thousands of venomous spiders that fell from the ceiling and oozed from the walls.
Watch: Hawk attacks drone to defend its territory


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