Monday 30 June 2014


## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Cementos Portland Valderrivas SA (CPL), whose Madrid plant once rumbled under the weight of cement being transported to build Spain’s biggest projects, doesn’t have the cash for a 50 million-euro ($68 million) loan payment due June 30.
Debt in some of Puerto Rico's biggest public corporations slumped in heavy trade on Friday after a new law allowing them to restructure their debt sparked ratings downgrades and fears of imminent default.
Andrey Luganskiy, Russia's trade representative in Tehran, said the exports would allow Iran to acquire Russian currency, which it can then use to buy goods that it is unable to import from the West.
Switzerland touted its qualifications to be a hub of renminbi trading on Friday, as its central bank chief and finance minister hosted People's Bank of China (PBOC) Governor Zhou Xiaochuan at a private event for Swiss and Chinese bankers.
The crisis of capitalism isn't just about the gap between rich and poor. It's about the gap between what’s demanded by our planet and what’s demanded by our economy.

## Airline Death Spiral ##
The board of Thai Airways International Pcl has appointed Air Chief Marshal Siwakiat Jayema as acting president from July 1 as the country's military rulers reshuffle and restructure the loss-making carrier hit by months of political unrest.
A transport ministry panel on Friday started discussing whether to raise the upper age limit for pilots, currently at 64, to deal with pilot shortages on the back of increasing air transport demand, especially in Asia.

## Iraq ##

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
The Syrian rebels that the U.S. now wants to support are in poor shape, on the retreat from the radical al-Qaida breakaway group that has swept over large parts of Iraq and Syria, with some rebels giving up the fight. It is not clear whether the new U.S. promise to arm them will make a difference.
The Russian Air Force is upgrading its long-range aircraft, making the decades-old planes more lethal amid increasing encounters near US airspace, a top US general responsible for defending the American and Canadian airspace said.
Indications Its Kiev Regime Is Crumbling. Blowback to America Could Be Substantial.

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

## Energy/resources ##
The news media continue to chant that “peak oil is dead” and see the U.S. shale oil miracle as a sustainable turn of events, not a term-limited booster. But listen to a few analysts who worry about what the slowdown in investments by oil super-majors portends, and question why many shale oil and gas companies can’t turn a profit during this incredible drilling and production boom.  Watch what’s happening to oil production outside of North America. Note the struggles to boost production from Brazil’s presalts.  Reflect on internal struggles in Syria, the Sudans, Venezuela and Nigeria and how those drag down oil production and quality of life. Follow violent events in the Middle East.
Power utilities are increasingly worried that their aging thermal power plants will start developing problems in the summer, when electricity demand is at its peak, as they attempt to offset the loss of nuclear power caused by the Fukushima disaster.
Total capital expenditures (CAPEX) for the top 50 oil and gas companies declined 7 percent to $173.5 billion in 2013 from $186.0 billion in 2012, as companies shifted spending towards development and away from unproved property acquisition and exploration activity.
In 5 years, when the Bakken and Permian plays are quickly eroding on their way to being spent, we’ll wonder why we chose to send overseas a domestic resource that could have lasted a generation or more powering US businesses and again become a dependent consumer of overseas oil supplies.
Annual bill for consumers to subsidise renewable technologies has soared to more than £2.5bn as more plants are built and the cost for each unit of electricity rises
But due to factors such as cost and fossil fuel dependence, they will never keep industrial civilization running at this scale. -- RF

## Got food? ##

## Lifestyle Solutions ##

## Environment/health ##
Scientists have voiced concerns over the seeming irresistible rise of super rats, which are becoming increasingly resistant to most poisons

## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Germany announced Thursday it is canceling its contract with Verizon Communications over concerns about the role of U.S. telecom corporations in National Security Agency spying.
These days, being “on the clock” means more than just punching a time card. New apps and gadgets are making it possible for companies to track everything from the location to the conversations of their employees.

## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##

## Japan ##
Consumer prices climbed in May at their fastest pace in 32 years, swelled by the hike in the consumption tax and higher utility charges that are squeezing Japanese budgets as wage gains remain limited.

## China ##
China will boost gun training for police in Beijing, a senior security official said, as it braces for what it calls an upsurge in militant violence around the country.
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) will extend China’s financial reach and compete not only with the World Bank, but also with the Asian Development Bank, which is heavily dominated by Japan.

## UK ##
British Geological Survey report to map out potential fracking targets in Scotland's central belt but industry predicts resource will not be a game-changer
Councils facing a funding gap of £5.8bn to March 2016, which could put services like libraries and leisure centres under threat

## US ##
During the first quarter, 3.7 million credit cards were issued to subprime borrowers, up a head-scratching 39% from a year earlier, and the most since 2008. A third of all cards issued were subprime, also the most since 2008, according to Equifax.
Over the past few decades, a growing trend has become the folding of rural school districts due to shrinking state funding and  desire for efficiency.
Operators of Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams comprised of tax payer-funded police and sheriffs in Massachusetts claim they are immune to public records requests about deadly force, incident reports, and more because they are private "corporations."
According to a Gallup poll released Friday, 22 percent of those polled favor increased immigration, while 33 percent would like to see it remain at the present level and a plurality, 41 percent and nearly double the amount of those who favor increased immigration, believe it should be decreased.

And finally...

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