Friday, 24 October 2014 16:26

World News Desk 10-24-2014

From Jenna Orkin:

Headlines

NYPD Stunner: Cops Exit Ebola Victim Apartment, Dump Gloves, Masks In Sidewalk Trash Can

 

Economy

Hackers Ran Loose Inside JPMorgan For 2 Months Before Getting Caught

Massachusetts awards Chinese $566.6 million contract

Banker Suicides Return: DSK's Hedge Fund Partner Jumps From 23rd Floor Apartment

25 Banks Said To Fail European Stress Test, 10 In Talks On Capital Shortfall

 

Energy/Resources

REPORT: Hidden Fracking Chemicals Could Slip Into Drinking Water

“WASHINGTON -- When it comes to environmental pollutants, sometimes what's legal is what's most worrying. That's the conclusion of a new report on a major loophole in the regulations governing hydraulic fracturing.

The report, released Wednesday by the Environmental Integrity Project, looks at what is known as the "Halliburton loophole" -- an exemption from existing rules that allows companies to inject some petroleum-based chemicals into the ground without obtaining a permit.

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses a high-pressure mix of water, sand and chemicals to tap into oil and natural gas reserves stored in shale rock. While the Safe Drinking Water Act, first passed in 1974, regulates what can be injected into the ground, energy legislation in 2005 exempted many fluids used in fracking from those restrictions. Companies are still supposed to disclose if they are using diesel fuel in their fracking operations and obtain a permit. But they don't have to do that for other petroleum-based chemicals. The provision became known as the Halliburton loophole because of then-Vice President and former Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney's reported involvement in crafting the law.

As the Environmental Integrity Project points out in the new report, fracking operations continue to use petroleum products that contain the same dangerous chemicals found in diesel. That includes benzene, which is a carcinogen, as well as toluene, xylene and ethylbenzene. Without permitting and enforcement measures in place, many environmental and health advocacy groups are concerned that these hazardous chemicals could leak into drinking water supplies.

Using information drawn from the industry's voluntary disclosure site, FracFocus, and the material safety data sheets for chemicals, the report identifies six fracking fluid components that contain more benzene than found in diesel. Twenty-one fluid components had higher levels of ethylbenzene, toluene or xylene. Some wells are using a lot of these chemicals; one in Dimmit County, Texas, reported using 48,000 gallons of a mixture that contains benzene, the environmental group found. All of this is perfectly acceptable under current law…”

-

"Could" seep into drinking water? How about "has" and "is" seeping into drinking water. I think that's been well established in many regions of the country already. Flaming faucets don't lie.

We will be seeing a giant wave of cancers and birth defects in many fracking regions in the years to come. Bet on it. And there will be zero liability (i.e., damages to pay) for the fracking companies, all thanks to Dick. - Wes

Green tea compound blocks Ebola virus infection

Total’s CEO Christophe de Margerie Dies in Moscow Plane Crash

Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Reveals Compact Fusion Reactor Details  

What We Know About the NYC Ebola Patient 

Why Ebola Is Such A Uniquely Terrible Virus

Industry Group Tries To Rally Black Caucus Against Solar Incentives

EU Agrees To Drastic Emissions Cuts

 

Military/Intelligence

Senate, CIA Dispute Unsettled As Investigation Ends

Government Set Up A Fake Facebook Page In This Woman’s Name  

U.S. Drops Weapons to ISIS

U.S. Humanitarian Aid Going to ISIS

The New Snowden Documentary Is Utterly Fascinating — And Critically Flawed

Mind-Controlled Drones Are Already A Reality
 

Civil Unrest/Politics

Hong Kong Protesters Have Built A Self-Sustaining Village

 

From Rice Farmer:

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
UK's Lloyds to cut 9,000 jobs over next three years: sources

Sears to close stores, lay off about 5,500: Seeking Alpha

Kimberly-Clark to cut up to 1,300 jobs worldwide
Cut, baby, cut! -- RF

40% of Eurozone Banks Are In Bad Shape

Russia Adds A Record 1,200,000 Ounces Of Physical Gold To Their Reserves

India Gold Demand Surges 450% and Bank of Russia Demand At 15 Year High

Peak Ponzi: Only 13% Of Loans In Bulgaria's Fourth Largest Bank Had Valid Collateral

French Private Sector Output Falls at Sharpest Rate in Eight Months; Tale of Two Europes

S&P warns Europe crisis not over, France output falls

Late Payments by Ibex Companies Hits €47 Billion, 169 Days (3 Times Legal Time Limit); Ibex vs. DOW

McDonald's Franchisees Say The Company Is Bankrupting Them

McDonald's franchisees are furious that the company's aggressive promotions and costly restaurant upgrades are squeezing their profits, according to a new survey. "Growth for McDonald's is over," one franchisee wrote in response to the survey by the financial services firm Janney Capital Markets.

Why Amazon Is Crashing: Jeff Bezos' Nightmare Quarters In Charts

Saxo Bank CIO Jakobsen Predicts Another "Shock Drop" in Markets; Addicted to Cheap Money

Crude oil plunge could hit big banks’ bottom line: Scotia Capital

Oil Shocks And The Global Economy

Traffickers use prison ships, abductions to feed Southeast Asian slave trade

Manufacturing moving from China to US: survey


## Airline Death Spiral ##
Saudi airspace among most dangerous in the world
Saudi airspace has become one of the most potentially dangerous areas to fly in the world, with the rate of near-crashes surpassing seven times the global average.

Hawaiian Airlines posts $5M loss from Hurricanes Iselle and Julio

Fears lasers will lead to air tragedy

Airlines Hike Prices on Domestic Flights
The five biggest U.S. airlines all increased their base fare on domestic flights in the past week, despite declining fuel prices and apprehension over the potential spread of Ebola.

Airfare hikes not easy for fliers (and carriers)

HAL posts third quarter loss

Holiday airfares are rising amid record airline profits
Don't expect the once-struggling airline industry to pass its good fortune on to travelers during the holidays

Fuel costs ease, US airline profits soar

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Iraq seeks thousands of tank rounds

Iraqi Security Forces In Baghdad Set Up New Mobile Checkpoints To Prevent Car Bomb Attacks

U.S. arms crate bound for Kobani defenders may have fallen into Islamic State hands

How To Stop ISIS: Greenlight Its Neighbors—-Syria And Iran

This is one of the most sensible proposals I've seen in a long time. -- RF

Al Qaeda Wants Xinjiang In The Islamic Caliphate -- But Uighur Leaders Say No

Turkey kidnap plot raises doubts about U.S. troop safety

Islamic State militants seize Iraq village, press assault on Yazidis

Washington’s Feckless War On Russia Is Accelerating The Empire’s Decline

The Next Big Thing: The Growth in Strategic Importance of the Indian Ocean

US-Backed Ukraine Army Used Cluster Bombs Against Its Own People: Reports

Neocon Sabotage of Iran-Nuke Deal
Congressional neocons are determined to sink negotiations to constrain but not end Iran’s nuclear program – all the better to get on with bombing Iran at the heart of their agenda.

Six officials 'disappear' in latest Pyongyang purges

Lone-Wolf Attacks Rise in New Era of Asymmetric Warfare

Ottawa Shooting Lockdown: Shooter Killed In Parliament Building, Soldier Dead

Belarus Wants to Criminalize Unemployment

Ottawa Shooting: FBI Urges Vigilance On US Border With Canada

Jerusalem Attack: Palestinian Man Drives Car Into Pedestrians In East Jerusalem, Killing Baby, Wounding Several Others

Moscow investigating crash involving Total boss

Mexican citizen journalist has her own murder posted on her Twitter account

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protesters burn city hall in Mexico town where 43 students vanished

Masked assailants Wednesday set fire to the city hall in Iguala in a rampage triggered by the failure of Mexican authorities to resolve the case of 43 missing student teachers.

Two killed in Sierra Leone riot over Ebola blood test

Protesters Clash With Ferguson Cops After Michael Brown Autopsy Leaked


## Energy/resources ##

Oil: Geology is Crushing Technology

Philippines looks to big companies' gensets to avert power shortage
The Philippine government said on Tuesday it would count on big businesses with diesel-fuelled power generators to avert rolling brownouts in 2015, as it struggles to get authority from the country's Congress to tackle a looming electricity shortage.

B.C. remains ‘high-cost environment’ despite lower LNG tax rates, industry group says

Another big petrochemical project in the US might hit some supply constraints

Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Significantly Cuts Nuclear Safety Budget

Shale Boom’s Allure to Wall Street Tested by Bear Market

Norway's Seismic Surveyors Say Hit by Lower Oil Price

Norway’s Arctic Oil Ambitions Threatened by Slump in Oil

Saudi Arabia’s Crude Oil Supply Said to Fall in September 


## Got food? ##
Report: 21 US cities restrict sharing food with homeless people

Harvesting Sweet Potatoes

Low Inflation? The Price Of Ground Beef Has Risen 17 Percent Over The Past Year

Ebola Outbreak Threatens Food Crisis in West Africa

Ebola Epidemic 2014: Liberians Threaten To Break Quarantine Over Food Shortage

Protecting Chickens From Predators

Seeding change
73% of seed crops are now ‘owned’ by 10 corporations – while community and grassroots initiatives are working to keep global diversity alive.

## Environment/health ##
Official WHO Ebola toll near 5,000 with true number nearer 15,000

Obama’s “Ebola Czar” Thinks Overpopulation Is Top Challenge

US to track everyone coming from Ebola nations
All travelers who come into the U.S. from three Ebola-stricken West African nations will now be monitored for three weeks, the latest step by federal officials to keep the disease from spreading into the country.

Doctors: CDC's New Ebola Tracking Plan Is Political Theater

New York's First Ebola Case? Doctor Treating Ebola Patients In Guinea Rushed To Bellevue Hosptial

Ebola crisis: Mali confirms first infection case

Texas plant converts CO2 to baking soda: Project funded in part by a U.S. economic recovery grant.

Report: Fracking in California dirty business

Maker of Camel cigarettes bans smoking in workplace


## Intelligence/propaganda/security/internet/cyberwar ##
Poll: 70 Percent of Young People Harassed Online (US)

CIA Apparently 'Impersonated' Senate Staffers To Gain Access To Documents On Shared Drives

The Challenges of Defending Your Child’s Mind from Propaganda

Cybercriminals prey on Ebola fears to get inside your computer

Bluetooth spying beacons uncovered in LA & Chicago
Devices identical to those secretly planted in New York City phone booths have been installed in public spaces in Los Angeles and Chicago.

Citizenfour’s Escape to Freedom in Russia

Xiaomi Moves International Users’ Data Out of China


## Systemic breakdown/collapse/unsustainability ##
What's Avant-Garde Now? Social Innovation

Special report: America's perpetual state of emergency

Eight Pieces of Our Oil Price Predicament

Nissan recalling 260,000 vehicles globally with Takata air bags

Water Crisis Seen Worsening as Sao Paulo Nears ‘Collapse’


## Japan ##
Japan's power failure: Bid to forge national grid stumbles

Japan's exports up in September, deficit persists

The Keynesian Yen Trashers Blather On—-But Japan’s Trade Accounts Are Still Deteriorating

Destroyers with ballistic missile defense capability heading to Japan
Two U.S. Navy destroyers with ballistic missile defense capabilities are being forward deployed to Japan, the U.S. Navy announced.

BOJ Sees Bigger Chance of Fall in CPI Below 1%

Dismantling of reactor building cover begins
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has begun dismantling the cover of a reactor building to remove debris as part of preparations for removing the nuclear fuel from a spent fuel storage pool.

Special isolation ward for Ebola unveiled

Honda executives to take pay cut after fifth Fit hybrid recall

Hitachi Maxell to trim 250 jobs in battery unit

17 new coal power stations planned in Japan despite high levels of greenhouse gas emissions


## China ##
Panel: China Expanding Submarine Capabilities

PLA may transfer 100,000 soldiers to Xinjiang: report

Mapping China's Bursting Real Estate Bubble

Boeing and Chinese partner to make jet fuel from 'gutter oil'

China Scores Cheap Oil 14,000 Miles Away as Glut Deepens
China is finding oil supplies 14,000 miles away, aided by the global rout in prices that’s left producers vying for new markets.


## UK ##
Pensioners can only afford to heat one room: government advice
The impact of the startling price of energy has been revealed by a government leaflet released today, which recommends that pensioners only heat one room in their house in order to stay warm without breaking the bank. It raises the question of just how desperate energy bills are making life for retirees.

How many "excess deaths" this winter? -- RF

'Full nest' parents spend £1,200 a year keeping adult children at home
Parents with adult children still living at home forced to take out loans and cut back on groceries, survey finds

The BBC is Using Anti-Terror Surveillance to Find Tax Dodgers

Tesco scraps profit outlook as accounting black hole deepens


## US ##

So, just how rich is Congress? Richer than you.

Chris Christie Says He's 'Tired of Hearing About the Minimum Wage'

Tennessee Woman Sentenced to Jail for Not Mowing Her Lawn

Fort Lauderdale Latest City to Restrict Feeding Homeless

Activists demand comprehensive federal data on Americans killed by police

The Fed’s Assault On Savers—–Backdoor Repudiation Of The Federal Debt

‘Walmart Moms’ think America is in the ‘crapper’

Out of control: “War on Terror” Targets Unlicensed Underwear – Department of Homeland Security Raids Maker of World Series Panties

Vote all you want. The secret government won’t change.

Why did the face in the Oval Office change but the policies remain the same? Critics tend to focus on Obama himself, a leader who perhaps has shifted with politics to take a harder line. But Tufts University political scientist Michael J. Glennon has a more pessimistic answer: Obama couldn’t have changed policies much even if he tried.

Which is essentially the point I made on July 18. Obama is not in charge, any more than Bush was. From POTUS on down, American elected officials largely do as dictated by the system; they actually have little discretion to make any substantive changes. So again, dumping on Obama, or any previous president, is barking up the wrong tree. -- RF

Firewood a hot commodity as rural Minnesotans ready for winter

After last year's long cold winter spiked propane costs and left firewood piles burned to nothing, White said rural Minnesotans are stocking up on anything to keep their homes warm.

Americans' love of central heating will lead to tragedy, as the struggle to heat entire homes, instead of just a few rooms, will exhaust fuel supplies much faster. -- RF

Is the US economy in for another harsh winter as energy companies struggle to stockpile fuel?

While we joked about it getting cold in Ukraine as they argued with Russia over supplies, it might be the other side of the Atlantic that faces the bigger chill.

Truck Driver Shortage Top Challenge for Heavy-Duty Fleets

The Top 10 U.S. States Where Chinese Are Investing in Real Estate

Why Are Chinese Millionaires Buying Mansions in an L.A. Suburb?

U.S. jury convicts ex-Blackwater guards in 2007 Baghdad killings

Man arrested after jumping fence at White House

Unused vacation days at 40-year high

California community suffers as wells dry up in drought

"It's Very Extreme" - Drought & Drug Cartels Drain California's Aquifers At Record Rate

US Manufacturing PMI Tumbles, Biggest Miss In 14 Months

Schools install gun detection technology

 

And finally...

Woman spends a week in KFC to get over her break up (China)

Ebola plush toys are big sellers

 

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