Sunday, April 17, 2011


News Links, April 18, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Furious Greeks press for country to default on debt
"Violence on the streets as backlash grows over Greece's austerity package and €110bn bailout."
Greece Denies Restructuring Plan as Traders Raise Default Bet
"Greece said it has no plans for a debt restructuring even as German officials openly discuss the possibility and investors charge a record amount to insure the country's obligations."
Harvard Professor: Sovereign Debt Crisis Will Force Bondholders to 'Take a Hit'
ECB Officials Signal Further Interest Rate Increases This Year
Japan Vows Fiscal Reform, Easy Monetary Policy at G20
BRICS make move to shove dollar aside
IMF needs Japan growth reality check (Asia Times)
"Kudos to the IMF for standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Japan in its darkest hours, and for trying to rally investors behind a noble cause. But a cold look around the zone obliterated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami strongly suggests that consumer demand, manufacturing output, farming production and exports will likely see dramatic declines this year, at the very least."
Belarus halts sales of gold for roubles
China raises bank reserves for fourth time this year
"The latest move, raising the required reserve ratio from 20% to a record 20.5%, is expected to lock up about 350bn yuan ($54bn; £33bn) that banks would otherwise be able to lend."
What happens if Australia's house price bubble bursts?
Mideast sovereign-wealth funds pose risk for West
"As unrest continues to rock North Africa and the Middle East, the region's massive sovereign-wealth funds are likely to become less willing, or less able, to maintain their investing spree in the West."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Somali Sea-Shifta still in piracy upsurge
Over 50 countries to attend counter-piracy meet in Dubai
Tanzania to guard oil, gas ships from pirates
Pirates are becoming a greater burden on governments, which can't afford to fight them. -- RF
U.S., Allies Search For Gaddafi Refuge Site
Libya Rebels Flee Ajdabiya After Intense Assault By Gaddafi Forces
Radical Islamist groups gaining stranglehold in Egypt
Italy angry as France blocks migrant trains
Yemeni troops 'open fire on protesters'
"Reports of more clashes come as leaders of opposition bloc head to Saudi Arabia to discuss transition of power."
Assad pledge fails to quell Syria anger; troops fire
Thousands chant anti-Assad slogans at Syria funeral
Bahrain to prosecute civil servants over protests
BAE Builds A Secret Microwave Gun for The High Seas
S.Korea, U.S. to Conduct Military Drill: Media

## Energy/resources ##
Saudi slashes oil output, says market oversupplied
"Saudi Arabia's oil minister said on Sunday the kingdom had slashed output by 800,000 barrels per day in March due to oversupply, sending the strongest signal yet that OPEC will not act to quell soaring prices."
Hanoi reduces street lights to save power
Without nuclear power, expect electricity shortage: Taipower (Taiwan)
New warning of poisonous chemicals in natural gas 'hydrofracking'
"A congressional report finds that chemicals used in 'hydrofracking' to extract natural gas are known or possible human carcinogens, regulated under federal environmental laws."
Tech Talk - the new EIA Shale gas report (TOD)
There is a lot of shale gas worldwide. But even if we ignore the pollution controversy, the economics, the need for a high degree of technical drilling expertise, and the rapid decline in production rate make it more of a challenge than conventional natural gas. -- RF
Water wars? Thirsty, energy-short China stirs fear
"On the eight great Tibetan rivers alone, almost 20 dams have been built or are under construction while some 40 more are planned or proposed."
Where Has Libya's Oil Gone?
More foreign firms attend Iran's oil show despite sanctions: official
Commodities Watch: Fertilizer, Food Prices Could be Spiraling; US Drought Threatens Wheat Crop

## Got food? ##
Zoellick Says World Economy One Shock Away From Food Crisis
Snickers-to-Noodles Surge Drives Cooking-Oil Stocks to 1974 Low
"At a time when consumers are focused on near-record food costs after grain and meat prices surged, stockpiles of edible oils needed to make everything from noodles to fish sticks are dropping to a three-decade low."

## Environment/health ##
Gulf Dolphin Deaths Study Thwarted By Federal Practices, Scientists Say
Mystery illnesses plague Louisiana oil spill crews
FDA claims no need to test Pacific fish for radioactivity

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Is France Plotting to Kill the Free Internet?
Obama moves forward with Internet ID plan
Whole of APAC put on IPv4 rations

## Japan ##
TEPCO hopes nuclear 'cold shutdown' in 6-9 months
Japan earthquake: Clinton announces reconstruction plan
Japanese Farmers Linger In State Of Uncertainty
Japan's auto parts makers struggle after disaster
Morgan Stanley fund fails to repay debt on Tokyo property
"A Morgan Stanley property fund failed to make $3.3 billion in debt payments by a deadline on Friday, handing over the keys to a central Tokyo office building to Blackstone (BX.N) and other investors, the largest repayment failure of its kind in Japan."
Japan's tough standards slow procurement of Chinese construction materials
Reconstruction tax hike faces rocky road
Japan's first post-quake report to show big hit to exports, imports
Coping with power shortages

## China ##
Protest in Hong Kong over Ai Weiwei detention
"One person held after supporters of the mainland Chinese artist and activist push through police barricades."
Beijing inflation medicine not working: Are more rate hikes now inevitable?

## UK ##
Teachers say there is a rising number of poor children
New breed of gagging order could send journalists to jail, MP claims

## US ##
Gallon of gas now tops $4 in six states and D.C.
The Battle Is About Giving More Money to Rich People, Not About the Size and Role of Government
Super-rich have seen their tax liability tumble
Seeds of revolution. -- RF
Costa Mesa, Calif: A Flash Point for City Belt-Tightening
Ethanol Futures Decline to Two-Week Low on Record Stockpiles

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