Monday, April 04, 2011


News Links, April 5, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Trichet Seen Burying Ailing Nations With Rate Rise on Inflation
The Fed Is on 'Different Monetary Planet': Economist
Poland May Raise Rates to Contain Rising Inflation Expectations
Indian households hold 18000 tonnes of gold
A Global Tsunami, Courtesy of the Fed (great analysis from Chris Martenson)
South Korean Oil Refiners Reduce Prices under government pressure to curb inflation
Inflation tsunami
March Madness: U.S. Gov't Spent More Than Eight Times Its Monthly Revenue
Yen carry trade is back, but it may not last

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
New Syrian PM seen as powerless to deal with unrest (Jerusalem Post)
"Thousands march at Damascus funeral for slain protesters as cellphone, Internet lines go down around country."
Washington Quietly Halts Arms Delivery to Lebanon
Unrest spreads in Afghanistan
Gaddafi Sons Said to Offer Plan to Push Father Out
Italy rejects Qaddafi, recognizes Libyan rebel government
Yemen unrest: Troops fire on Taiz protesters
U.S. trying to help Yemeni president leave, officials say
Report: Al-Qaida active in Latin America's 'Triple Frontier'
My goodness! AQ is just everywhere these days! -- RF
Entertaining video: Former CIA officer gets outspoken in CNN interview about Libya
Love his smile at the end. He is clearly enjoying himself as the interviewers start to melt down. -- RF
UN moves to stop another bloodbath in Ivory Coast

## Energy/resources ##
OPEC oil output slips lower, Saudi Arabia misses target
"OPEC crude oil output slipped lower in March, dropping over 1 percent as the halt in Libyan exports takes effect and it seems that OPEC's star exporter, Saudi Arabia has missed the target on filling the oil supply gap."
"Peak Everything" May Mute Fukushima Backlash
"Political support may be holding for nuclear power and offshore oil, despite the Fukushima and Macondo disasters, as decision-makers confront climate change and dwindling domestic energy reserves... A theory of "Peak Everything" suggests we are running short of vital assets such as clean water, carbon-free air, some minerals, fish stocks or the cheap fossil fuels which have powered the world economy and helped curb the price of food."
Renewable Energy Won't Be 'Major' Factor in Kuwait Energy for 20 Years
Zuma's Quest for India Ties Threatens S. African Power Supply
Germany Faces Blackouts If Country Quits Nuclear Too Soon, Die Welt Says
Libya rebels may sell first oil cargo this week
Brent Near All Time High When Priced In Euros
US crude climbs on Middlie East tension, jobs data
Kuwait wants lower oil price, sees $90-$100 as fair
Dubai Electricity & Water profit falls 20% as costs rise
Ethanol And Gas Both Get Expensive: An Energy Nightmare

## Got food? ##
Bleak outlook for nation's fresh food supply (Australia)
U.S. Companies Shrink Packages as Food Prices Rise
Supply Concerns Send Corn Prices to a Record High

## Environment/health ##
Study: Periodic fasting good for health, heart
Many, many people will have ample opportunity to test this. -- RF
Milk, berries still contaminated from Chernobyl: Greenpeace
Abandoned Oil And Gas Wells Threaten Drinking Water, Homes Across U.S.
Radiation Experts: Radiation Standards Are Up to 1,000 Higher Than Is Safe for the Human Body
'Fighting a losing battle with the sea' (northeast US)

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
More customers exposed as big data breach grows (US)
Rest assured that the data will be used to populate data bases. -- RF
Hackers steal Epsilon e-mail addresses

## Japan ##
Japan nuclear crisis: workers using newspaper and sawdust to block pipes
TEPCO dumps 10,000 tons of low radioactive water into Pacific
Extent of Nuclear Disaster Still Unknown as Rescue Teams Struggle to Regain Control
Japan seeks Russian help to stem nuclear crisis
"Japan has asked nuclear superpower Russia to send a special radiation treatment ship used to decommission nuclear submarines as it fights to contain the world's worst atomic crisis since Chernobyl, Japanese media said late on Monday."
Japan nuclear crisis to trigger huge civil damages claims
"Japan's nuclear crisis is likely to lead to one of the country's largest and most complex ever set of claims for civil damages, handing a huge bill to the fiscally strained government and debt-laden plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co ."
Quake disaster weighs on Japan businesses
Nissan's April output to fall sharply to 40% of pre-quake plan
Honda Portable Generators Run Out as Earthquake Cripples Output
If History Proves Correct, Japan May Be Ready To Stomach Its Imminent Power Shortage
Bonds, not taxes, should fund recovery, experts say
Miyagi Prefecture has 10,000 ha of rice paddies ruined by salt water (link in Japanese)
Authorities in Miyagi Prefecture announced that about 10,000 ha (about 24,700 acres) of rice paddies cannot be farmed this year due to salt damage incurred when they were inundated by the tsunami. Fukushima Prefecture likewise estimates that about 10,000 ha cannot be used to grow rice this year. A significant expanse of farmland in Iwate Prefecture is also likely unusable this year. -- RF
Shelves still empty in disaster areas
Dairy product shortage in Eastern Japan (link in Japanese)
It's true. My wife went shopping in town yesterday and said that the yogurt section in the grocery store was empty (there was yogurt when I checked on Saturday). According to this article, there is a shortage of materials to make milk cartons, and yogurt production has been curtailed by rotating blackouts. Milk shipments in the Kanto region (the part of Honshu including Tokyo) are down to between 40 and 50% of pre-distaster levels. -- RF
Quake-Hit Factories Flicker Back To Life
This article doesn't say anything about the availability of power, which is going to be critically short with the coming of hot weather. An industrial park in my own area is planning to have the factories operate in rotation because there won't be enough power for all of them to be operating at once. There has already been talk of automakers doing the same thing. -- RF

## China ##
Hidden Losses and Little Reform; China May Be Slowing More Than You Think (Mish)
Long-term consumer outlook for China luxury
Chinese cabinet warns over eviction of farmers
Shanghai in nuclear staff shortage
Ai arrest shows escalating crackdown
"The reported detention of one of China's most high-profile artists and dissidents, Ai Weiwei, is fueling speculation that China's ongoing crackdown to prevent call for protests similar to the ones seen in the Middle East and North Africa is reaching a new, more aggressive, phase."

## UK ##
Record 5p rise in price of a first-class stamp
Army and Navy reveal job loss plan
Historic houses for sale at bargain prices by desperate town halls
RAF stretched to the limit, says chief in plea for funds
Mortgage pay-off at a new record

## US ##
No Relief Likely for Muni Bonds
Fed's Low Interest Rates Crack Retirees' Nest Eggs
Just another way in which "retirement" is going the way of the dinosaurs. -- RF
Wildfires rage across five states of parched Southwest
Are Americans At The Breaking Point?
Geithner warns U.S. to hit debt ceiling by May 16
Where the Rich Are Moving
"The nation's wealthiest homebuyers are moving to towns with humble beginnings that have bloomed into millionaire enclaves, and also to a handful of communities that were planned from the start with affluent residents in mind."
Why the Housing Market is Three Times Worse Than You Think
Toyota to temporarily halt U.S. output: reports
Airline consolidation can't offset $100 oil

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