Sunday, May 15, 2011


News Links, May 16, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Merkel Risks Revolt Over Greece
Greece Had 13 Currency Swaps With Goldman, Eurostat Says
EU ministers meet to restore faith in flagging eurozone
In Europe, spending cuts spawn anarchy
"Austerity budget cuts have given rise to new anti-government groups in Europe that threaten to undermine economic recoveries, a terrorism expert said."
Rich and poor divide underestimated (Australia)
Gold rush: All change for the world's favourite metal
Euro Crisis May Scuttle Eastern Europe Economy as Investors Bet on Region
"Eastern Europe's economic recovery may be scuttled by any Greek debt restructuring, which would curb lending by western banks and undermine investor bets that have propelled the region's stocks, bonds and currencies."
India's Biggest Increase in Gasoline Prices Since 2008 May Fuel Inflation
Zimbabwe Says Days Of The US Dollar Are Numbered, Pushes For Gold-Backed Local Currency

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
'Nakba' clashes: Iran, Syria trying to turn Arab Spring fury into attacks on Israel?
Arab protesters descend on Israeli borders; at least 15 dead
Egypt police fire tear gas at Nakba rally
"Security forces try to disperse "Nakba Day" demonstrators after a group attempts to "storm" Israeli embassy in Cairo."
Chaos mounts in Libya, Syria
And chaos is the new world order. -- RF
Blackwater Founder Builds Mideast Mercenary Army to Put Down Revolts (Danger Room)
Tens Of Thousands In Spain Austerity Protest
Time's up: latest boat arrivals to be diverted (Australia)
"THE Gillard government's tougher refugee policy came into full force yesterday, with the Immigration Minister saying the latest boatload of asylum seekers will be refused processing and sent away to a yet-to-be determined country."
Libya: Nato 'must widen' targets, says UK military head
Russian Deputy PM Ivanov Visits Disputed Island Off Hokkaido

## Energy/resources ##
Iran's President Ahmadinejad to Run Oil Ministry After Minister Dismissed
Saudi says must invest $88bn in power over 10 years
Rethink needed on Saudi oil use
South Korea April LNG Imports Jump 6.3%; Average Price Rose
U.S. refiners gear up to battle acts of nature

## Got food? ##
Forecast: Kan. wheat production down 27 percent
"Drought-plagued Kansas farmers are expected to harvest far less winter wheat this season from fewer acres, according to a new government report released Wednesday."
Morganza spillway: Flooding farmland to save New Orleans
"I'm sorry for the farmers."
Philippines to attain rice self sufficiency on hybrid version

## Environment/health ##
Russian wildfires double in size
Can you bzzzz me now? Study says cell phones are killing honey bees

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
The Century of Disasters (Slate)
"Meltdowns. Floods. Tornadoes. Oil spills. Grid crashes. Why more and more things seem to be going wrong, and what we can do about it."
IMF chief arrested for attempt to rape hotel maid
Remember Eliot Spitzer! -- RF
Dominique Strauss-Kahn: minister doesn't rule out 'set up'
Mossad carries out daring London raid on Syrian official
CIA has created own Taliban to wreak terror havoc on Pakistan, claims Pak paper
"Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives have infiltrated the Taliban and Al-Qaeda networks, and have created their own Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) force in order to destabilise Pakistan, a Pakistani newspaper has claimed."
Sony Attack Shows Amazon's Cloud Service Lures Hackers at Pennies an Hour

## Japan ##
Original plan to cool Fukushima nuclear reactor to be scrapped
Core of reactor 1 melted 16 hours after quake
Key Nuclear Facilities May Have Been Damaged Before Tsunami
Japan earthquake: Dealing with mountains of debris
Evacuation begins from widened no-go zone near Fukushima plant
Japan officials deny asking for Tepco loan waiver
Quake may exert prolonged impact on Japanese manufacturers
"Two months after the Great East Japan Earthquake dealt a heavy blow to the product supply chains of many Japanese manufacturers, a government survey on major businesses impacted by the disaster has indicated they are likely to struggle over an extended period."
Recovery of fallen device from Monju reactor slated for June
Trouble hampered cold shutdown at Hamaoka
"Chubu Electric Power Co. said Sunday that trouble with the cooling systems at the Hamaoka power plant prevented its No. 5 reactor from achieving a cold shutdown for about two hours but did not result in the release of radiation."
Kan to pledge continued use of N-power / Go-ahead based on better safety
Can 15% power-saving goal be met?
Chubu Electric looking to thermal power
"The Nagoya-based firm is looking into relaunching six generators at five thermal power plants currently out of service, including the No. 2 generator at Taketoyo.
"If all of those generators resume operation, Chubu Electric's power supply capacity will increase by 1.8 million kilowatts, according to utility officials. But, officials have said it will be at least one year before they can resume functions because repairs are needed and some parts need replacing."
New hot-weather office dress code OKs Hawaiian shirts, tees and jeans

## China ##
China's April power consumption up 11.2%
China's Power Outages Come Early and Often
"All told, China could face an electricity shortfall of 30 million kilowatts this summer, warned the China Electricity Council."
China to remain major importer of silver

## UK ##
England 'drought' could force up food prices, warns farming minister
"The continuing dry weather in eastern England could damage crops and lead to increased food prices, Jim Paice, the agriculture minister, has warned."
Historic climate change deal with legal powers agreed by Cabinet
"Cabinet ministers have agreed a far-reaching, legally binding "green deal" that will commit the UK to two decades of drastic cuts in carbon emissions. The package will require sweeping changes to domestic life, transport and business."

## US ##
Cities nationwide heighten vigilance on terror
El Paso: the city hears the first battle cries in America's explosive immigration debate
Atlanta Fed's Lockhart Says It's Too Soon to Consider Exit From Stimulus
Worst Recovery Ever For Small Businesses
Q2 Economic Contraction Highly Probable
Could a nuclear disaster happen in N.J.? An expert sizes up the Garden State's biggest threats
The U.S. is becoming a 'server nation (CNN Money video)
The missing element from this discussion is the realization that educating people for highly specialized occupations like engineer requires a lot of energy. -- RF

And finally... Stalin, Mengele, join cast as Roswell plot thickens

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