Monday, April 25, 2011


News Links, April 26, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
China May Start New Sovereign Funds to Invest in Oil, Gold: Reports
China must watch for rising U.S. Treasury yields: researcher
Silver Surges to All-Time High on Inflation Hedge, Industry Use
Uncertainty reigns as quake-hit Japan Inc posts results
"(Reuters) - Japan's largest companies are likely to paint a bleak picture for this year's profits when they start announcing earnings this week, if they offer any guidance at all."
Singapore's Consumer Prices Climb 5%, Justifying Tighter Monetary Policy
Ford suspends work at 3 plants due to parts woes
The most crucial event since the industrial revolution (Forbes)
How Japan Dealt a Double Blow to Hedge Funds
Brazil's Rising Inflation Hampers Growth
High Foreign Capital Taxes Can't Control Real: Cardoso
IMF bombshell: Age of America nears end (MarketWatch)
Apmex Starts Reverse Inquiry: Seeks To Buy "Any Quantity" Of Silver From Clients At $3 Over Spot
Daily Austerity Watch: Greece Burns, Debt Ceiling Nears

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Syrian forces swarm cities across restive nation
Syria: army uses tanks against the people in day of bloodshed
Syria's military shows signs of division amid crackdown
"Some soldiers reportedly refused to open fire against civilians in Deraa today, sparking clashes between units. A divided military could prove the undoing of Assad's regime."
Saudi Arabia, Pakistan to strengthen ties
"Saudi Arabia and Pakistan agreed to enhance their ties at a time when the Arab world remains concerned about Iran, sources told Dawn newspaper."
Mauritanian police use teargas to break up protest
Libya: Silvio Berlusconi approves the use of Italy's air force in Nato strikes
As Brazil's Economy Grows, So Does Its Geopolitical Ambition
ElBaradei: Nuclear Nonproliferation System Is Broken

## Energy/resources ##
Mideast in tough act to balance sweet-sour crude supply
"The problem is that the only spare capacity in the Middle East is sour."
Iraq Tackles Its Next Oil Bottleneck
"Ravaged by years of war and international sanctions, the crumbling infrastructure in the south of Iraq is proving inadequate to service rising production from Iraq's southern fields."
Anti-nuclear protests in Germany and France
German nuclear exit could be costly
Copper Crimes: Worldwide Theft of Copper on the Increase
Peak Oil Update - April 2011
Despite the initial graph (which shows rising production through October 2010), the author's assessment of the near-term future trend is rather grim. -- RF
Imagining a world without oil
Jeremy Grantham Goes Malthus: It's "Time to Wake Up" Or The Great Paradigm Shift From Declining Prices To Rising Prices
Drill baby drill won't lower gas prices (CNN)
"The United States simply doesn't have enough oil to move world markets."
Indian coal consumers knock governent doors on price rise
Natural Gas Drilling Is at a Crucial Turning Point

## Got food? ##
Soaring food prices: The world's poor grow hungrier
Food Prices to Take Another Jump Corn Prices Surge
The New Geopolitics of Food (Lester Brown at Foreign Policy)
Meat prices seen going even higher (US)

## Environment/health ##
Losing, But Slowly, In Struggle To Fight Back The Sea
Japan's tsunami waves top historic heights
Climate Change Poses Rising Threat to Western Water Resources, U.S. Says

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Amazon cloud crash endangers federal websites
Amazon Says 'Majority' of Cloud Problems Resolved
Fatigue in US air travel system: It's not just air traffic controllers
iPhone tracks you, even with location feature disabled
Iran says targeted by cyberattack

## Japan ##
Must read: Most reactors in Japan yet to have enough backups for stable cooling
"Many reactors still effectively have no alternative power source should emergency diesel generators fail to work, as was the case at the Fukushima plant after it was hit by a magnitude-9.0 earthquake and tsunami on March 11."
This Kyodo News story was front page top in today's newspaper here. And very likely this potentially catastrophic situation applies equally to many other nuclear power plants around the world. Power grids around the world are beginning to fail. Now is the time to start working on cold shutdown, before more reactors are left to overheat when external power fails. -- RF
Toyota's Japanese output down 63% due to parts shortage
Nintendo annual profits slump 66%
Japanese Stocks Decline as Post-Quake Car Production at Mazda, Honda Drops
Tsunami Speeds 'Terminal Decline' of Japan's Fishing Industry
Not mentioned in the article is the role of expensive fuel in weakening the industry. -- RF
Industries left short-handed after foreign workers flee Japan following nuke accident
Bullet train services between Tokyo and Sendai resumed, but power outages cause halts
Japan: "Safecast" DIY crowdsourced radiation project posts first mobile recon update
Japan to Issue More Bonds
"Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan said Monday his administration will issue new government bonds to fund a planned second extra budget to rebuild quake-hit areas, adding to the nation's already huge public debt."
Tepco Pumps Tainted Water From Reactor Trenches, Adds Backup Power Cables
Continued radiation leaks from crippled nuke plant pose serious threat
Atmospheric radiation leak underestimated
Chernobyl recovery officer criticises Japan's efforts at Fukushima
Quake, nuke crisis batter March power sales at 2 utilities
TEPCO cancels 1,100 job offers, cuts remuneration for directors
Suits to halt atomic plants have all failed
Weak Demand Prompts Airlines To Cut Flights, Offer Discounts
Japanese orders for noodles, water soar in South Korea
"According to a South Korean governmental organization, exports to Japan were 50 percent higher than the same period last year. Some manufacturers are trying to meet the phenomenal demand by operating their factories 24 hours a day."
Fukushima to cull dying livestock in 20-km radius of nuclear plant
Japan's Terrifying Day Saw Unprecedented Exposed Fuel Rods

## China ##
South China Faces Power Shortages This Quarter
"China's five southern provinces will face power shortages of up to six gigawatts in the second quarter due to robust demand, the grid operator in the region said over the weekend."
Kuwait's crude oil exports to China up 13.3%

## UK ##
Rail companies 'should be able to increase fares'
"Rail companies should be allowed to introduce 'airline-style fares' that could see them charging hundreds of pounds for tickets during peak times and banning passengers without pre-booked seats from travelling, a Government review is set to recommend."

## US ##
Military patrols start Friday night in downtown Columbus
More cities declare water shortage (Texas)
Rising gas prices, parts shortage fuel rush for smaller cars
Record gold prices spur wedding ring alternatives
SoCal City Edges Closer To Bankruptcy
Reality Now: Massive Price Increases at LDS Food Distribution Centers in Last Ninety Days
Dallas Fed Confirms Economic Re-Contraction, Respondents Complain About "Record Low Margins"

And finally... Franklin Graham: Second Coming of Christ will be on YouTube, Twitter

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