Much of the world’s press has been focused on the latest spooky revelations, but there’s a lot going on in other realms.
We begin with a very familiar theme, a pattern seen here with disastrous consequences a decade ago and today across the Pacific. From China Daily:
Back across the Pacific, our first domestic item comes from Salon:
‘Riots always begin typically the same way’: food stamp shutdown looms Friday
The head of the largest food bank says the $5 billion annual cut will take a week of meals off millions’ plates
From Reuters, another rumble:
U.S. pending home sales fall by most in more than three years in September
Contracts to purchase previously owned U.S. homes fell by the most in more than three years in September, a sign that a softer economy and a rise in mortgage rates are hurting the country’s housing market.
Reuters again, another rumble:
U.S. manufacturing production barely rises in September
U.S. manufacturing output slowed in September as the production of computer and electronic goods fell, suggesting business spending ended the third quarter with less momentum.
From the McClatchy Washington Bureau, another institution shrinks:
Without federal aid, Amtrak could leave rural areas behind
And from the Los Angeles Times, yet another regressive tax in the works? One with yet another way to keep us in the panopticon’s eye:
A black box in your car? Some see a source of tax revenue
The devices would track every mile you drive —possibly including your location — and the government would use the data to draw up a tax bill.
From the Contributor Network, the war of the haves on the have-nots continues:
Farm Raid: House and Senate Negotiate Farm Bill, Billions Apart on Food Stamps
The fight over renewing the nation’s farm bill has centered on cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program. But there could be unintended consequences if no agreement is reached: higher milk prices.
And from Hatewatch, some good ol’ fashioned home-grown hard times terrorism:
Suspect in Missouri Abortion Clinic Arson Now Implicated in Mosque
A suspect arrested this month for twice attempting to burn down a Joplin, Mo., abortion clinic now has been implicated in last year’s firebombing that destroyed a mosque in the same community.
And now, around the Pacific with Jiji Press:
TPP Talks on Intellectual Property Rights End without Progress
Countries involved in Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations ended an interim meeting on intellectual property rights without progress in Tokyo on Monday, due chiefly to a failure to resolve disputes between the United States and emerging economies.
On to Europe, first with a Reuters headline:
Analysis: Convalescent euro zone seeks to escape debt overhang
As the euro zone’s weakest members crawl out of their longest recession in modern history, their prospects of recovery are weighed down by a crushing mountain of debt far heavier than before four years of financial crisis.
From EUobserver, too little, too late:
EU parliament to probe bailout troikas
EPs dealing with economic affairs are to launch an inquiry into the “non-transparent” work of EU Commission, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund officials overseeing spending cuts in bailout countries.
PM: ‘Migrants Take Jobs Our Young Cannot Do’
David Cameron says immigrants are getting jobs because Britain’s schools are failing to produce young people with proper skills.
From the London Daily Mail, evidence some are making out:
Range Rover unveils most expensive model ever costing £140,000 – with first class airline style seats and champagne chiller
First ever long wheel-base Range Rover aims to compete with limousines
Seats, dash, tables and ‘ski hatch’ all finished in leather
Mood lighting in 10 different colours allows drivers to set the tone
Airline style chairs have TVs and massagers fitted into them
Spain next, with a demand for a raised retirement age and increase in the retirement age and longer working hours from Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem via El País:
Eurogroup president calls on Spain to work more and adopt new labor reforms
Dijsselbloem believes unemployment problem warrants retirement age increase
Deutsche Welle reports a bailout recovery:
Spanish lender Bankia turns corner after massive bailout
Struggling Spanish lender Bankia has been reported to have logged a profit in the first nine months of the year. The recovery came after a massive bailout last year, with huge problems prevailing in the lending sector.
After the jump, Greece grimness, Chinese flexing, Fukushimapocalypse Now! And the latest environmental woes. . .
From Greece, unsurprising news via Kathimerini English:
Greeks are the unhappiest people in Europe, German survey finds
Greeks are the unhappiest Europeans according to a survey commissioned by the German postal service and published in business weekly Wirtschaftswoche on Saturday.
EUbusiness reports a lament:
Greeks can give no more, president tells creditors
Austerity-hit Greeks have nothing left to give, Greek President Karolos Papoulias told the country’s EU-IMF creditors on Monday ahead of a fiscal audit tied to fresh loans.
From Cyprus another ill omen from ANSAmed:
Crisis: Cyprus; car registrations drop by 31.9% in 9 months
Cyprus’ Statistical Service has announced that the total registrations of motor vehicles during the first nine months of 2013 decreased by 31,9% to 14.035 in January-September 2013, from 20.608 vehicles in the same period of 2012.
From Russia, RIA Novosti notes a troubling sign:
1,000 Migrant Workers Rounded Up in Moscow Police Raid
Police in Moscow raided a market in the southeast of the city Monday, rounding up around 1,000 laborers from Central Asia for criminal record and migration permit checks.
RIA Novosti again, this time with another selloff:
State Diamond Miner Raises $1.3Bln in IPO
State Diamond Miner Raises $1.3Bln in IPOThe sale of a 16 percent stake in Russia’s state-controlled diamond miner Alrosa being floated as part of a long-delayed privation program Monday raised $1.3 billion.
Brazil next, with a critical disagreement from MercoPress:
Rousseff and Mantega dispute IMF report on Brazil as ‘incoherent’
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff responded to the International Monetary Fund concern over the country’s fiscal situation, saying Brazil was fulfilling its responsibilities. IMF claimed that Brazil’s competitiveness had eroded in recent months and downgraded the country’s growth forecast from 4.25% to 3.5%.
Lack of refining capacity and capped fuel prices hit Petrobras profits
Brazil’s state-controlled oil producer Petrobras said third-quarter profit slid 40%, missing analysts’ estimates, on higher fuel imports and refining losses. Net income dropped to 3.39 billion Reais (1.55bn dollars) from 5.66 billion Reais a year earlier, the company said on Friday in a regulatory statement.
Asia next, starting with a worrisome visit via the Express Tribune:
IMF team visits Pakistan to kick the tyres on economic reforms
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif faces the first formal test of his economic policies this week during a visit by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It won’t be easy.
RBI Monetary Policy Review: Raghuram Rajan hints at hike in interest rate, no Diwali bonus for India
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor Raghuram Rajan today hinted at increasing the key rate at the second quarter monetary policy review tomorrow, citing urgency to anchor inflationary expectations.
The Times of India, with yet another worry for those people Obama’s so worried about:
India raises concerns over US immigration reforms
Raising concerns over some of the “elements” of a US legislation on immigration reforms, India on Monday said the bill will undermine the competitiveness of Indian IT businesses in America.
On to China, with a neoliberal alarm via MercoPress:
China capitalist reforms: break up state monopolies, land reform, Yuan reserve currency
A Chinese top government think tank has unveiled a detailed road map for a series of far-reaching economic policy changes, in one of the strongest indications yet that the Communist Party intends to stay on the path of reform
More from SINA English:
China eyes reforms on land, state firms, welfare
An influential think tank linked to China’s state council, or cabinet, has recommended creating a national social security system, changes to state-owned enterprises and land reform, according to media.
From People’s Daily, rot in the halls of ivy:
Chinese academia troubled by corruption
Chinese government’s generous input shows its firm determination to promote the development of science and technology as a national strategy. But the growing corruption caused by a faulty scientific funding system has become an unexpected obstacle for the country’s scientific and technological advancement.
While the Global Times flexes muscle:
China reveals long-secret nuclear sub fleet
For the first time, Chinese state media outlets released a series of reports and photos about the development of the nation’s first nuclear-powered submarine force on October 27. Until recently the North China Sea Fleet had been a military unit shroud in mystery, and these reports mark the first large-scale disclosure of the force.
Taiwan’s Want China Times adds an implication:
PLA ballistic submarine can reach US cities with JL-2 missiles
And RT has the video:
First Video: China unveils nuclear submarine fleet
The first nuclear submarine fleet from PLA North China Sea Fleet carried out a military drill as shown by footage released lately. The drill was aimed at testing the maneuver capability of the fleet in deep-sea navigation, long-distance operation, submarine communication and coordination with other battleships. Other than nuclear-powered submarines, a wide range of destroyers, frigates, depot ships and military helicopters were also engaged in the drill, according to military officers in the drill.
And Want China Times covers the military/industrial:
China expanding its role in global weapons market
Turkey has yet to decide whether it will go ahead with its purchase of the FD-2000, the export version of China’s HQ-9 surface-to-air missile, but China is already making strides in expanding its influence in the global arms market, according to the Moscow-based Military Parade website.
Japan next, with a symptom of of an aging populace and a falling birth rate via Jiji Press:
Japan Panel to Call on Govt to Reduce Teachers
Members of an advisory panel to the Japanese finance minister agreed on Monday to call on the government to substantially cut state funding for compulsory education in fiscal 2014, by slashing the number of elementary and junior high school teachers.
From Kyodo News, backlash from banksters profiting from gangsters:
Mizuho Bank president, other execs face pay cuts over shady loans
Mizuho Bank President Yasuhiro Sato said Monday his salary will be cut for six months following revelations of the bank’s loans to members of organized crime groups, denying he intends to step down over the matter.
The next development, from the Asahi Shimbun:
Mizuho chairman, others resign over mob loans
Mizuho Financial Group said on Oct. 28 the chairman of its banking business and two other top executives will resign over the Japanese lender’s failure to crack down on loans to organized crime.
And on to today’s amazingly brief Fukushimapocalypse Now!
From Jiji Press, a regulatory encounter:
Japan Top Nuclear Regulator Meets with TEPCO Chief
Japan’s chief nuclear regulator met with the president of Tokyo Electric Power Co. for the first time Monday, mainly to discuss a series of radioactive water leaks and spills at the company’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The Asahi Shimbun covers a result:
TEPCO seeks to rotate more workers to Fukushima nuclear plant
The president of Tokyo Electric Power Co. told the chairman of the Nuclear Regulation Authority Oct. 28 that the utility is seeking to place more of its workers at the embattled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant to better deal with the continuing leaks of radioactive water.
And more blowback from the Mainichi:
Fukushima situation to affect restart of TEPCO’s other plant: NRA
A senior official of the Nuclear Regulation Authority suggested Monday that Tokyo Electric Power Co. should improve its management of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant before restarting reactors at another nuclear complex.
While Jiji Press ponders a proposed cover-up:
Japan Panel to Review Underground N-Waste Disposal Plan
An industry ministry working group plans to review the safety of a program to bury high-level radioactive waste from spent nuclear fuel deep underground, it was learned Monday.
And the Japan Daily Press notes business as usual:
PM Abe flies to Turkey to beef up partnership in building nuclear plant
Back in May, PM Abe made Ankara his last stop for his four-nation trip. Japan and Turkey, through Prime Minister Erdogan, inked a $22-billion nuclear cooperation agreement. The nuclear power plant will be built on the coast of the Black Sea. Abe also assured Turkey of the “highest level” of nuclear safety, banking on the “lessons learned from past accidents and risks.”
To CBC for another “other fuels/other problems” entry:
Pipeline safety incident rate doubled in past decade
Database gives detailed picture of 1,047 reported problems
Grist Magazine has another one:
Hundreds of oil spills kept secret by North Dakota
North Dakota’s fracking frenzy is leaking like a sieve. And you haven’t heard about it because fracking companies, oil pipeline owners, and state officials have been keeping information about hundreds of oil spills secret for years.
And, to close, GlobalPost poses a shocking question:
Calamity Calling: What if we lost the Amazon?
VIDEO: Climate change is wreaking havoc on the world’s largest rainforest. This scientist and his airplane are tracking the destruction.