Monday, 28 April 2014

Headlines

Mexico's fiscal health is in jeopardy because of a declining rate of oil production, an analysis from the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.

## Airline Death Spiral ##

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
The creation of a real non dollar bloc which can make almost anything people want, and which has access to essentially all key resources from oil to rare minerals, metals and food is an existential threat to the hegemony of the West and its allies like Japan and Korea.
The United States and the Philippines have reached a 10-year pact that would allow a larger U.S. military presence in this Southeast Asian nation as it grapples with increasingly tense territorial disputes with China.
Gunfights and killings in shanty towns have escalated just weeks before the World Cup begins in Brazil

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Dozens of protesters torched three banks and a government building in the southern Jordanian city of Maan, after police killed a resident during clashes, officials and witnesses said yesterday. Some 200 anti-government protesters were involved in the riots late Wednesday, the Public Security Department said.

## Energy/resources ##
The stunning conclusion of the report is that at current prices--in the mid-$4 range per thousand cubic feet (mcf)--NONE of the natural gas trapped in the New York portion of the Marcellus can be profitably extracted.
Without the addition of generation capacity, the emirate will struggle to address growing power demand
Lack of generation capacity, equipment upkeep and training were factors as lights went out across Newfoundland last winter, says a new report flagging an "unacceptably high risk" of future blackouts.
Experts warn of a growing fragility as coal-fired plants are shut down, nuclear power is reduced and consumers switch to renewable energy.
I would like to remind everyone that landfill gas and waste-to-energy schemes depend on the mountains of waste generated by the industrial/consumer economy. -- RF
Much to the chagrin of the United States, China has the innate ability to negotiate major energy deals in the midst of conflict. PetroChina's  state-run parent company, China National Petroleum, or CNPC, was the first oil company to secure a contract in the Iraqi oil fields following the fall of Saddam Hussein, and today both it and CNOOC  are two of the most active oil companies there. With Russia and the West at a standstill over the recent events in Ukraine, it appears that CNPC is about to seal another energy coup.
Smaller oil producers are teaming up with engineering and oil services companies in Britain's North Sea to squeeze extra drops from ageing facilities before rising costs force them to close.
The crisis in Ukraine has provided a reminder of an an old story: The world is a dangerous and unstable place—and some of the most volatile places on earth are oil-producing areas where oil companies are compelled to drill.
China might be slowing economically but it still wants to buy more oil from Latin America and invest in infrastructure in the region, with a presidential visit planned for July, Chinese and Brazilians officials said on Friday.

## Infrastructure scavenging ##

## Got food? ##
We may be tasting the first minimal increases in food prices that could soar to unimagined heights in the years ahead.
The killer stalking U.S. hog farms is known as PEDv, a malady that in less than a year has wiped out more than 10 percent of the nation's pig population and helped send retail pork prices to record highs.

## Lifestyle Solutions ##
Volunteer gardeners from countries around Europe visited Greece's second largest city, Thessaloniki, on Sunday to help local urban planting initiatives set up help residents hit by the country's financial crisis.
Of course, this is not merely a "lifestyle solution," but a major component of our efforts to survive — and thrive — as societies transition to much lower energy levels. Don't think for a minute that this is something temporary until Greece "gets back on its feet." Greece is a bellwether we should all be watching closely.  -- RF

## Environment/health ##
North Dakota confirmed Thursday the discovery of a new radioactive dump of waste from oil drilling, and separately a company hired to clean up waste found in February at another location said it removed double the amount of radioactive material originally estimated to be there.

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
The Saudi prisoner awaiting a death-penalty trial for the USS Cole bombing was tortured physically, mentally and sexually, an expert in treating torture victims testified Thursday at the war court.
People are storing more and more stuff online: photos, music, personal documents — even books. The business of cloud storage is growing 30 percent a year, Forrester Research says. But if you're storing your digital belongings in the cloud, you should know you're giving up some rights.
For a detailed treatment of the Tillman saga, start reading here. -- RF

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
County road commissions have increasingly taken up the practice of permanently or temporarily turning paved roads into gravel in recent years to deal with issues of low funding and poor road conditions… Last year, about half of Michigan counties were forced to convert paved roads to gravel.

## Japan ##
Dormant accounts are those that have seen no deposits or withdrawals for at least 10 years.
"You haven't used this account in 10 years. Therefore the money is no longer yours!" This is just plain thievery. Many people put money in an account and leave it there with plans to use it upon retiring. Expect still more Japanese to keep their savings out of the banks and stuff their mattresses instead (or as it is known in Japan, "bureau-drawer deposits"). -- RF

## China ##

## UK ##
Schoolchildren as young as ten are being taught how to spot radicalisation in their friends through a police scheme using a Facebook-style website.
New figures show the extent of the use of controversial European Arrest Warrants on Britain's streets

## US ##
A record surge in recent firearms production and transactions have swamped the federal government's automated registration system for select weapons, including machine guns.
I'm not the only one who perceives the development of neofeudalism and the new aristocracy. -- RF

And finally...

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