Monday, 26 May 2014

Chronicling Collapse

Sunday headlines

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Italy will include prostitution and illegal drug sales in the gross domestic product calculation this year, a boost for its chronically stagnant economy and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s effort to meet deficit targets.
In recent weeks officials have said the government is considering making it obligatory for state-owned companies to receive payment for key exports in roubles, rather than in dollars as at present.
The Spanish government is currently engaged in a desperate bid to offload one of the country’s recently bailed out, nationalised, and supposedly now fully restored savings banks, Catalunya Caixa — the ill-fated offspring of the post-crisis merger of Caixa Catalunya with two smaller Catalonian saving banks, Caixa Terrassa and Caixa Manresa. The problem is that no one wants it.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
The Conservative government is considering letting air operators fly with fewer flight attendants, drawing backlash from airline crews who say passenger safety is taking a back seat to corporate profits.

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Japan and China on Sunday accused each other's air forces of dangerous behavior over the East China Sea, with Japan saying Chinese aircraft had come within a few dozen meters of its warplanes.

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##

## Energy/resources ##
With more than 50 percent of the current industry workforce eligible to retire in 2015, the energy sector desperately needs to address major gaps in workforce knowledge and experience if it is to meet its aggressive growth goals.
Iran is loading eight LPG cargoes totaling 317,000 mt in May for export to Asia, the biggest monthly volume since resuming shipments in May 2013 following an eight-month halt on concerns over an EU ban on shipping insurance, shipping and trade sources said Friday.
As it turns out, the company’s production costs were too high to compete commercially. After only four years in operation, it filed for bankruptcy and shuttered its Carthage, Mo., plant in 2009.

## Got food? ##

## Environment/health ##

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
Crippling fossil fuel dependency, climate volatility, rocketing debt levels are propelling protests, radicalising the state
On an individual level, we try to avoid exertion, stress and crisis, and on a larger systemic level, our institutions devote enormous resources to minimizing systemic volatility and suppressing dissent.
When they pull up to a gas station these days, Detroit drivers are looking beyond the price per gallon at a far more threatening concern: carjackers. The armed auto thieves have become so common here that parts of the bankrupt metropolis are referred to as "Carjack City," and many motorists fear getting out of their vehicles even for a few moments to fill a tank.

## Japan ##
The government is considering giving prime ministers a free hand in mobilizing the Self-Defense Forces to respond swiftly to “gray-zone” incidents, government sources said Sunday.
Successive Cabinets have refused to release details of firsthand accounts of the Fukushima nuclear disaster, despite an understanding by a government investigation committee that the information from 772 interviewees could be made public.
Around half of the 9,790 pedestrian bridges built over roads and managed by the national, prefectural or municipal governments are over 40 years old, and removal of these bridges is outpacing the construction of new ones, a Mainichi survey suggests.

## China ##
Now here's what I call a solution! -- RF
More than 30 Chinese cities, excluding Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen, plan to relax restrictions imposed on housing purchases because of the slowdown in the country's real estate market.

## UK ##
Britain borrowed £11.5bn in April, up 21% on last year, as interest repayments hit £1bn a week.
More than one in 10 new Army recruits are boy soldiers of just 16 years old, according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Defence. And more than one in four of all new Army recruits are under 18 – too young to be sent into combat.

## US ##
David Barron, who co-authored memo authorizing drone killing of U.S. citizen, "now one step away from the Supreme Court."
Once the go-to activity for corporate bonding, the sport is suffering from an exodus of players, a lack of interest among millennials and the mass closure of courses.
An economic tsunami is rumbling toward Pennsylvania. Unless it can be averted, it will do great harm to communities all across the state. Many people will face massive tax increases. Others will have fewer police officers and firefighters to protect them.
Housing and food expenses absorb more than half of low-income Americans’ annual spending. Even the wealthiest Americans  devote a sizable share of their spending to keeping a roof over their heads and food in their refrigerators.

And finally...

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