Wednesday, April 27, 2011


News Links, April 28, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
US Debt Downgrade Likelier Than Not (Barron's)
US Banks Warn Obama on Soaring Debt
"A group of the largest US banks and fund managers stepped up the pressure on Congress and the Obama administration to reach a deal to increase the country's debt limit, saying that even a short default could be devastating for the financial markets and economy."
Euro-Area Governments' Debt Reaches Record 85.1% of GDP as Crisis Festers (Bloomberg)
Australian consumer prices rise sharply in Q1
South Korean Economy Grew 4.2% in First Quarter
"As in other countries, inflation is the biggest danger South Korea faces. Its consumer price index jumped nearly 5% in March, the fastest rate since late 2008. Consumer confidence sagged this month for the second month in a row on perceptions of the effects that higher prices are having on household budgets."
Growth sounds great, but now economic growth fuels deadly inflation, which governments must then tamp down aggressively. SKorea also has an acute power shortage which will very likely cause problems with the coming of hot weather. -- RF
Yield on 2-year Greek debt is now close to 25%
Economic hardship drives Greeks into the ground
"The Greeks who years ago fled to cities for economic opportunity are now returning to the countryside for the same reason."
Call made to privatize Canadian mail
Gold Surges to Record on Outlook for Sagging Dollar, U.S. Rates
Chrysler Said to Plan to Borrow $6 Billion to Refinance Debt
Silver Rush Spreads to Stock Market
If You Missed Silver, Corn Could Be Next

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Pakistan Pushes Karzai to Drop U.S. as Ally, Turn to China
Yemen unrest: Protesters 'shot dead' in Sanaa
Secret police detain more than 500 as Syria defies Western threats
Venezuela President Hugo Chavez meets Libyan delegation
Egypt gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan explodes
"A pipeline carrying gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan has exploded after an attack by an armed gang in the north Sinai area of Egypt."
Iran steps up rate of public executions: Amnesty
Body count from Mexican mass graves nears 300
Mexican Narco-Trafficker's Revelation Exposes Drug War's Duplicity
Energy Planning Rises as Pentagon Priority: Lynn

## Energy/resources ##
The Peak Oil Crisis: Dimming of the Globe (Tom Whipple)
Russia running out of easy oil: state study
Is Peak Coal Coming? (Jeff Rubin at Financial Sense)
National coal expert: 'Mining is a loser' in practically every way (US)
Russia: Gasoline shortages provoke furor
No Easy Solutions to the Coming Energy Crisis (Gail Tverberg)
"Everyone would like to fix the US energy policy, but doing so is almost impossible, in my view, primarily because we need to be planning for a much bigger change than most people can even imagine."
Tverberg's low-key delivery might not satisfy some. But the implications of her writing are huge. -- RF
US extends life span of nuclear plants
Because it's just too expensive to build new ones. -- RF

## Got food? ##
Australia Pistachio Disaster Hints at Agricultural Breakdown
Hail modern industrialized monoculture large-scale agriculture! -- RF
Urban Farming Now Even More Legal: Here's What to Grow to Make a Buck (San Francisco)
U.S. Farm Subsidies Face The Budget Axe — Seriously

## Environment/health ##
In nuclear accident, risks extend beyond evacuation zone
'Neglected' current could keep Europe warm even if Gulf Stream stops
Failing Health for BP Cleanup Crew
"Those who assisted in Gulf cleanup efforts are now suffering from memory loss, respiratory problems and other issues."

## Japan ##
Japan Rating Threat May Force Higher Taxes to Fund Rebuilding
Japan debt outlook cut to negative on rebuilding costs
"Japan's sovereign rating outlook has been cut to negative by Standard & Poor's (S&P) in the wake of the devastation caused by last month's earthquake and tsunami."
Tsunami Towns Face 'Empty Monument' Risk as Japan Rebuilds
Japan: Standard & Poor's predicts rebuild could cost more than $600bn
Mitsubishi Motors Posts 42% Profit Fall In 4Q, No Outlook For This Fiscal Year
Shiseido quarterly profit plunges 62 per cent on falling Japan sales after tsunami
Radiation Readings in Fukushima Reactor Rise to Highest Since Crisis Began
Japan disaster's other hidden danger: Asbestos
"Activists have found the cancer-causing, fibrous material in the air and debris collected from the devastated northeastern coast."
Firms ready to save power / 80% of Keidanren members plan to cut electricity usage by 25%
Auto output plunges up to 65% in March

## China ##
Sinopec's Fu calls for fuel price hike to avoid shortages-report
China to build its own space station
Makes great press. But do you think it'll actually happen? -- RF
China's super rich show doubt about country's economic future
"Some 60 percent of China's wealthiest are thinking of leaving - and many have already put money away offshore."

## UK ##
Street lights to be switched off in North Somerset
Growth figure fuels recovery fears
Libya: Liam Fox under pressure over deploying troops to Libya

## US ##
Must read: Wal-Mart: Our shoppers are 'running out of money'
Physical Silver Shortage Worsens Due To Mint Rationing and Surging Investment Demand
Public pensions, once off limits, face the axe
"Cities and state governments attempt to undo protections to balance budgets."
Illinois leading states facing a pension crisis
Obama urges oil producers to increase output
Why more people are rejecting their credit cards
"Financial experts say people who live a cash-only life usually spend less."
High radiation at Ohio nuclear plant prompts inspection
Michigan's "Emergency" Financial Regime: What Fascism Looks Like
Commercial Debt Foreclosure Wave Likely, Covendium Warns
U.S. employers shift to temp workers

And finally... Poll: Most unsure where Trump was born

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