Saturday, 28 February 2015

Headlines - 02/27/2015

Hyper-Luxury Cars Are Now Selling Faster Than Normal Ones
Welcome to a new gilded age of driving in which sales of Ferraris grow faster than Fords
GM's Indonesia closure highlights automakers' emerging markets woes
General Motors Co's (GM.N) decision to shutter a car factory in Indonesia comes as global automakers rethink the timing and scope of investments in emerging markets once touted as engines of growth.

## Airline Death Spiral ##Southwest Grounds 128 Jets Over Missed Inspections
Southwest Airlines on Tuesday announced it grounded 128 jets after it failed to inspect hydraulic systems designed to serve as a back-up in case of trouble with the aircraft's rudder system.
SAA mulls ways to cut extra kilogrammes on flights
USED blankets, magazines and left-over food are some of the items South African Airways (SAA) is considering leaving behind in return long-distance flights to make an aircraft lighter and save on fuel costs.
Malaysia's AirAsia X to cut costs, may defer plane deliveries: Acting CEO
Malaysia's AirAsia X Bhd (AIRX.KL) will cut flights on unprofitable routes, reorganize staff and defer some aircraft deliveries to turn around the loss-making long-haul budget carrier, the airline's acting chief executive said on Wednesday.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##US-Israel quarrel intensifies over Netanyahu speech
Saudis Said to Aid Israeli Plan to Bomb Iran
As the Obama administration is rushing to complete a nuclear agreement with Iran and reduce regional tensions, the Israeli media is reporting on a deal with Saudi Arabia to let Israeli warplanes transit Saudi airspace en route to bombing Iran.
U.S. casts doubt on secret Iran nuke facility
The State Department on Thursday cast doubt on claims by an Iranian dissident group that it has discovered a secret underground Iranian nuclear facility.
Middle East Countries Wary Of Iran Sanctions Easing, Not Possible Nuclear Weapons
While the U.S. and Israel focus on the implications of Iran developing its nuclear program, some of Iran’s regional adversaries are concerned about something else: the power that Iran’s economy, unshackled from sanctions by a nuclear deal with the international community, would exert in the Middle East.
China submarines outnumber U.S. fleet: U.S. admiral
China is building some "fairly amazing submarines" and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top U.S. Navy admiral told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Thai bill to restrict protests sails through first reading

## Energy/resources ##
Top Oil Drillers Face Years Of Pain, Get A Grip On Cost
The world's biggest offshore drillers reported plunging earnings and orders on Thursday but managed to get a grip on costs to improve their chances of riding out a sectoral crisis that could last several more years.
EU chiefs launch biggest energy shake-up in half century
Maersk Positions Self for 'New Oil Reality' as Profit Fall
Denmark-based Maersk Drilling is positioning itself for a “new oil reality” of reduced tendering activity for offshore rigs and lower dayrates across all rig market segments by introducing cost-cutting and efficiency enhancement programs to boost its competitiveness in the current market.
Exxon Says Spending To Fall 11% This Year To $34B
Exxon Mobil Corp said spending will decline about 11 percent this year to around $34 billion due to plunging oil prices, according to a regulatory filing this week.

Study links common food additives to Crohn's disease, colitis
Common additives in ice cream, margarine, packaged bread and many processed foods may promote the inflammatory bowel diseases ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease as well as a group of obesity-related conditions, scientists said on Wednesday.

A report released Wednesday by the British nonprofit Environmental Justice Foundation says Thai fishing boats are now catching about 85 percent less than what they brought in 50 years ago, making it one of the most overfished regions on the planet.
If microplastic pollution increases on the Great Barrier Reef, corals could be negatively affected as their tiny stomach-cavities become full of indigestible plastic.”

## Intelligence/security/internet/cyberwar ##Anthem Hack: Millions of Non-Anthem Customers Could Be Victims
Health insurer Anthem said Tuesday that the recent major cyberattack on its systems may have affected 8.8 million to 18.8 million non-Anthem customers -- people who are or were insured by other Blue Cross Blue Shield providers.
Spy Cables: Greenpeace among intelligence targets
Numerous politicised spy requests sent to Pretoria, seeking information on 'rogue NGOs', politicians and exile groups.
Americans Catching a New War Fever
The U.S. media/political elites are again riling up the American people about threats abroad, whether it’s the hysterical reporting about Russia or the sensationalistic coverage of Islamic State atrocities. The results are showing with more Americans favoring more war.
Planting False Evidence on Iran
Prior to the U.S. intelligence community’s 2007 assessment that Iran was not working on a nuclear weapons program, there was a scramble among U.S. and Israeli officials to show that it was. The CIA’s Operation Merlin also revealed that U.S. officials were not above planting false evidence.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Aldrin is still living in the past, when energy was cheap. Ain't gonna be no Mars colony. -- RF
U.S. Healthcare and the Tragedy of the Commons
When the system is set up to encourage maximizing self-interest, accountability for the whole is lost.


## China ##
According to the National Bureau of Statistics, 7.1 million people were added to the national population in the past year. The data takes into account the total number born, 16.87 million, and offsets it with the dead, 9.77 million.
China drops leading technology brands for state purchases

## UK ##
British lakes see huge rise in toxic algae linked to Alzheimer’s
Britain’s lakes have seen a huge increase in toxic algae which is linked to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, scientists have warned.

## US ##
Slap by Florida cop highlights need for homeless rights, say advocates

And finally...


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