Tuesday, May 31, 2011


News Links, June 1, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Interest rates will rise faster and higher than anyone expects (MoneyWeek)
Asia Economies Show Signs of Slowing (WSJ)
"Asia's emerging-market growth engines appear to be downshifting in the face of rising inflation and interest rate hikes."
Berlin Considers a Shift on Greek Debt
"Germany is considering dropping its push for an early rescheduling of Greek bonds in order to facilitate a new package of aid loans for Greece, according to people familiar with the matter."
Greece may run out of funds within weeks
The Stupidity of Hope: Greece Is Still Going to Default (CNBC)
Australia Slump Could Be Biggest in 20 Years
"Australia's economy may have suffered its biggest economic contraction in 20 years in the first quarter of 2011, data are indicating, as a string of natural disasters savaged exports in crucial industries such as coal."
Russia's Central bank unexpectedly lifts deposit interest rate to curb inflation
Retail Sales Plunge in Italy, Dip Elsewhere in Euro-Zone
Europe Problems Go 'Way Beyond' Greece: Fink
"Europe's financial problems aren't confined to Greece and a reorganization of the continent's banking system is necessary, Laurence D. Fink, chief executive officer of BlackRock Inc. (BLK), said in a Bloomberg television interview today."
A perfect storm for local shippers (Korea)
"Rising fuel costs, piracy, a lack of capacity contribute to losses in Q1"
Now renting: luxe condos built for the global rich
A Minsk Moment Update: Belarus Hyperinflation Prompts Government To Freeze Food Prices
Iraq war debts come calling
One percent holds 39 percent of global wealth

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Karzai: NATO risks being seen as 'occupying force'
Gaddafi ready to implement truce, says Zuma after talks
El Salvador Grapples With Upswing In Drug Traffic
"As Mexico's drug cartels come under sustained attack by President Felipe Calderon's forces at home, several of them have started outsourcing. Los Zetas and the powerful Sinaloan cartel have been expanding their operations in Central America, where security forces often lack the resources to confront them."
Iran closes airspace to plane carrying German Chancellor Merkel
Iran sees threat to its clout amid Arab Spring
Attacks In Acapulco, Mexico, Leave Seven Dead
Israeli military says will stop new Gaza flotilla
Russia delivers another batch of naval fighters to India

## Global unrest ##
The Risk of Political Unrest Increases in Europe
China warns outsiders over creating unrest in Inner Mongolia
"Inner Mongolia is China's biggest coal producing region and the protests come as severe power shortages loom ahead of the summer peak energy season."
Syria: Bashar al-Assad 'grants general amnesty'
Yemen unrest: UN says 50 killed in Taiz since Sunday
Teen gangs disrupt holiday beach-goers (US)
"The gang members are part of a group of more than 1,000 teenagers, mostly 14-19 years old, who used Facebook and other social media Web sites to organize violent gatherings on Carson Beach in South Boston, The Boston Globe reported Tuesday.
"State police were unable to prevent the violence over a four-day period and, with the first report of a fight breaking out Monday amid a Memorial Day crowd, they called in State Police Special Tactical Operations teams, Boston SWAT teams, Boston Police Department Emergency Deployment Teams, Boston Housing police and UMass police and Transit police."
Bombs thrown at police officers in Craigavon (UK)

## Energy/resources ##
Iran now Turkey's premier oil supplier
"The development represents a new challenge for the United States, which has repeatedly tightened sanctions on Iran over its nuclear energy program."
Iran oil output 'may drop drastically by 2015'
" Iran's oil production may fall to 2.7 million barrels per day within five years unless 150 billion dollars is invested in its energy sector, a top official said in a report on Monday."
Philippines moves power plants offshore
"Manila is investing in offshore mobile power plants to ease the country's chronic energy shortages, which even affect Manila."
Venezuela oil industry performance on the slide amid corruption
Biofuels boom in Africa as British firms lead rush on land for plantations
Vietnam May Delay Raising Power Prices
"Vietnam, battling Asia's highest inflation rate, may put off increases in electricity prices even as the country faces "chronic" power shortages."
16 Saudi nuclear reactors to cost $300 billion
Construction of Chinese oil refinery to be continued in Kyrgyzstan
Startup turns trash into oil (video)
Where does the trash come from? I rest my case. -- RF

## Got food? ##
Food prices 'will double by 2030', Oxfam warns

## Environment/health ##
WHO: Mobiles 'may cause brain cancer'
Wildlife numbers crash in Kenya reserve
Killer bacteria claims 16th victim in Europe
"Unprecedented E. coli outbreak may involve 2 strains; more than 1,000 people in at least 8 countries; Germany hardest hit"

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Cyber weapons 'now integral part of Britain's armoury'
Second Defense Contractor L-3 'Actively Targeted' With RSA SecurID Hacks
Alarm Clocks Blow up at Ikea Stores in Belgium, France and The Netherlands

## Japan ##
Japan's vehicle output in April drops record 60.1%
Moody's reviews Japan debt
"Japan's Aa2-rated debt was placed under review Tuesday for a possible downgrade, Moody's Investors Service said."
Recovery weighed down by debt worry
Japan could face overseas lawsuits from nuclear crisis
Japan pensioners volunteer to tackle nuclear crisis
TEPCO starts system to cool spent fuel pool at nuclear plant
Nuclear Disaster Could Cost Y20tln: JCER
Stricken Fukushima nuke plant leaking oil
Reactor in Shimane delayed for safety work
"Chugoku Electric Power Co. said Tuesday it will delay the launch of commercial operations of one of its reactors now under construction in Shimane Prefecture because it has to add measures against possible tsunami."
Japanese stock up on gadgets to ease life without electricity
Toshiba to set 2-3 weeks summer holidays amid power shortage
"Toshiba Corp said Tuesday it will introduce two- to three-week summer holidays between July and September at its offices and production bases to cut electricity consumption in the service areas of Tokyo Electric Power Co."
Turning the Lights Off in Tokyo… On Purpose (includes video)
"Already many escalators at train stations in Tokyo are at a standstill, and some elevators are shut down. Many buildings are also keeping their lights off, and their hallways dark."

## China ##
China's Enormous Local Government Bailout
"If the Chinese economy is really so strong, why are Chinese regulators preparing a bailout of bad loans made to local governments that may amount to almost a half trillion dollars?...
"Keep in mind that China's official GDP is just short $5 trillion, which means that this bailout is almost 10 percent of the size of the entire economy. The total amount of local government debt is around 10 trillion yuan and could rise as high as 12 trillion by the end of year, Reuters reports."
Shanghai sees lowest levels of rainfall in 138 years
Drought could aggravate inflation
Interest rates may rise in June to tame prices
China Flies Inflation Red Flag
All cities to come under land price supervision
China developers to write down asset values
"Falling land prices may prompt Chinese property developers to write down the value of their assets, forcing a sober reassessment for those with vast land holdings, according to a survey released Monday by Credit Suisse."
Industry faces rising power cost
Vast amounts of resources are being lost to leaky pipes
"A total of 6 billion cubic meters of tap water are lost through leaking pipes every year in China, a country that faces chronic water shortages."
China too is plagued with crumbling urban infrastructure. -- RF

## UK ##
Royal Navy rents Norwegian ship to protect Falklands
British Army 'not ready for urban warfare'

## US ##
Cargo Theft: The New Highway Robbery (BusinessWeek)
"'You name it, they're taking it,' says Susan Chandler, executive director of the American Trucking Assn.'s Supply Chain Security and Loss Prevention Council. 'Do I think there's a surge? Absolutely.'"
Welcome to the New World Order of chaos and lawlessness. -- RF
Tennessee among worst states for cargo theft
Chicago PMI Plummets From 67.6 To 56.6, Biggest Monthly Drop Since Lehman Bankruptcy
Housing index expected to show new price low
'Double dip' in home prices is official, and prices could drop more
Let me repeat: This is not a "double dip." It's a continuation of the overall downward trend. -- RF
Falling Home Prices Hit Big Banks, Fannie, Freddie
Home-price index falls to lowest point since 2002
Leaving North Las Vegas no option for many 'underwater' homeowners
Park visitation up but finances weak across US
"State parks across the country are looking at serious cuts in services, fee increases or even closures as lawmakers look for ways to deal with their budget crises."
Disasters wipe out jobs along with lives
This Brand New $105 Million High School In Riverside, California Is Too Broke To Hold Any Classes
Tacoma to study gang prevention, intervention
Michael Pento: Central Bankruptcy – Why QE3 is Inevitable
Time To Celebrate The Recovery: Food Stamp Usage Hits Fresh Record
Recession Sobers America's Once Free-Spending Teens
Debt-limit hike fails in House in symbolic vote

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