Wednesday, March 30, 2011


News Links, March 31, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
The euro credit death spiral
The Collapse of Globalization
When Gold Becomes Money Again
Dubai World in 'new phase of growth', says chairman
Ministry to downsize free economic zones (SKorea)
Korean President Shoots Down Airport Plan
Dimon: U.S. debt default would be 'catastrophic'
Canada faces shortage of tech workers
Still another indication of the building shortage of people in high-tech professions needed to maintain industrial/technological society. -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
China builds higher fences over fears of instability in North Korea
"China is reinforcing fences and has stepped up patrols along its border with North Korea as concerns mount that crippling food shortages could increase instability in the secretive Stalinist state."
Israel considering annexing West Bank settlements
Assad to address protester demands on TV
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest
Libyan Foreign Minister to Defect
NATO Chief: Clearly No Military Solution to Libya War
Rebels retreat from Libya oil port under attack
President Obama Authorizes Covert Help for Libyan Rebels
Hundreds of thousands take to Yemen streets again
Yemen crisis intensifies with factory explosion
Solution for Piracy 'Scourge' Remains Elusive

## Energy/resources ##
Global Refining Capacity (TOD)
"In the main, the refining capacity in the OECD countries is in a mature state, with refineries aging and struggling to achieve the necessary returns for re-investment. This is particularly relevant for Europe and Japan where refining margins have been poor for decades... One thing for certain, the next few years are going to be challenging for refining. Many refiners struggle to make money currently as refining margins slide back to $2-5 per barrel. My own refinery model clearly demonstrates this phenomena and finished product prices will have to rise substantially."
Emergency plan for WA fuel rations (Australia)
Nuclear reactor breakdowns cost S. Korea 333 billion won
Two-thirds of oil and gas leases in Gulf inactive
Energy Output From Shale Rock Could Match 20th Century Oil Boom
But maybe not. -- RF
Venezuelan exports of crude oil sink by 16.2 percent in February
Strike halts Bolivia silver mine, exports - union
Unpaid bills blackout government offices (India)

## Got food? ##
Organic Farmers Sue, Seek Protection From Monsanto
Food Inflation Kept Hidden in Tinier Bags
Peak Oil and Depopulation

## Environment/health ##
Rationing of health services across Europe is inevitable
Health Experts Predict Physician Shortage (US)
"Healthcare experts predict number of physicians available to Americans might drop by an estimated one-third, of current number, by the year 2020, according to a March report in Article Dashboard."

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
BBC website and iPlayer service knocked offline for hour
"The BBC has apologised after its entire internet empire - including the BBC News website and iPlayer catch-up service - was shut down for almost an hour."
U.S. Army seeking cybersecurity pros
NSA to Investigate Nasdaq Hack
TelePacific Communications' network outage: cyberterror?
Billions Lost Due to IT Network Outages in 2010: Survey (US)
"As might be expected, power outages ranked as the No. 1 cause of business disruptions, with one-third of businesses reporting that this cause also prompted their most recent disruption."
Widespread power outages return to plague Venezuela

## Japan ##
Fukushima units 1 through 4 to be decommissioned
Stricken nuclear plant faces staffing difficulties
Japan considers unusual fixes to contain radioactive leak
Workers to spray resin over debris at Fukushima nuclear plant
Radioactive iodine 3,355 times legal limit found in seawater
Tepco's Damaged Reactors May Take 30 Years, $12 Billion to Scrap
Where will Japan get the 30 years and $12 billion? -- RF
Tokyo Electric says $24 billion loans not enough
"Tokyo Electric Power has secured $24 billion in bank loans but said that would not be enough to keep running and pay for Japan's worst nuclear disaster, adding to expectations the government will step in to bail out the stricken company."
Here's a preview of how electric utilities around the world can go belly-up. And what will happen to all their hot nukes? -- RF
High radiation outside Japan exclusion zone: IAEA
Radiation-Threatened Fukushima Accuses Government of Information Blackout
Tokyo Sees Its Lights Go Dim, And Lifestyles Change
Japan Avg Regular Gasoline Price Up 6th Wk, Still 29-Mo High
American Airlines to Suspend Two Japan Flights
Japan considers limiting electricity use by major firms to overcome shortage

## China ##
China becomes world's fastest-growing business jet market
Authorities concerned by lavish office buildings

## UK ##
Strikes over privatised prisons could lead to troops running them
Funds slashed for hundreds of arts groups
UK protest group spreads to US

## US ##
Toyota rationing parts to dealers to avert hoarding
Some states may downsize legislatures
11.4% of all U.S. homes are vacant
Real Estate Crash Catches Up to Cities as Property Taxes Slide
"The strain may mean credit-rating cuts this year for local-government debt, which trades in the $2.93 trillion municipal bond market, Moody's Investors Service said in a report this month."
Proposed settlement would force banks to allow short sales for delinquent homeowners
Budget Talks in California Break Down
Obama seeks one-third drop in oil imports
"Skunked": Bill Gross On How "The U.S. Will Likely Default On Its Debt"
Gas prices fuel big rise in spending
U.S. Inflation Expands Beyond Food and Fuel
American Ghost Towns Of The 21st Century
Rusty & Crumbling Infrastructure

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