Monday, May 16, 2011


News Links, May 17, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
China pared US debt holding in March for 5th month
Huge Cracks in Global Recovery Thesis; Industrial Production Unexpectedly Drops in Germany, France; UK Weaker than Expected
A Depressing Look At Suicide, Homelessness, And Societal Collapse In Post-Austerity Greece
EU, IMF pushing Greece to fully privatise utilities - reports
Europe's Downward Spiral: Portugal Gets Bailout But Greek Default Unavoidable, NYU's Spence Says
India Inflation Climbs More Than Estimated
Government dipping into private pension funds (Ireland)
Faith in Vietnam Falls With Shipmaker
"Frustration over Vietnamese state-run shipbuilder Vinashin's failure to repay loans it defaulted on last year is intensifying among creditors, potentially jeopardizing Vietnam's plans to draw more investment to improve its infrastructure and reduce the bottlenecks that threaten its growth."
IMF Chief's Arrest Renews Euro Debt Crisis Fears
US bank Citigroup sets up new Iraq operations
Preparing for Economic Collapse (
Soaring yuan deposits in Hong Kong

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
New Authorization of Worldwide War Without End? (ACLU)
"Congress may soon vote on a new declaration of worldwide war without end, and without clear enemies. A 'sleeper provision' deep inside defense bills pending before Congress could become the single biggest hand-over of unchecked war authority from Congress to the executive branch in modern American history."
Israeli shootings widen Middle East unrest
Saudi citizen dead in Karachi attack on consulate car
Pakistani Taliban say support killing of Saudi diplomat
Drug gangs in remote Guatemala kill 27, beheading most
"In the worst drug-related violence in modern times in Guatemala, assailants stormed a remote jungle ranch and killed 27 people, beheading 25 of them, an army spokesman said Sunday."
Iran sends "solidarity" flotilla to Bahrain-report
"Shi'ite-ruled Iran sent a flotilla to Bahrain on Monday to show solidarity with mainly Shi'ite Muslim protesters, escalating tensions with the island kingdom that is home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet."
Syrians flee to Lebanon to escape violence
China-Pakistan alliance strengthened post bin Laden
Sniffer dogs find explosives in truck at Kuwait port
The danger of a 'hollow force' (DoD Buzz)
The Empire must downsize its legions. -- RF

## Energy/resources ##
Russia's June oil export duty to hit 3 year-high
Biggest Libya producer says no more oil until war ends, fears attack
"Libya's biggest oil company will not resume production until the war ends, and that probably holds good for producers across the country, the firm's information director told The Associated Press on Sunday."
Emerging markets feed steel demand growth
"Global demand for steel is poised to rise annually by 6% this year and next as demand from China and other emerging economies continues to "increase steadily," the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said on Monday."

## Got food? ##
Oil surge lifts cost of rice production
The Corn Conundrum
Frustrations Grow In Tajikistan As Food Prices Spike
"For many families in Tajikistan, the traditional breakfast consists of bread, tea, and sugar. Now, even putting such modest fare on the table has become prohibitive, with food prices soaring by up to 30 percent in the last month."

## Environment/health ##
U.S. on record pace for high-cost weather disasters
Skin infestation a delusion, study says

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Dominique Strauss-Kahn conspiracy theories mount
"Dominique Strauss-Kahn gave an unpublished interview only two weeks before his arrest in which he suggested he could imagine a scenario in which he might be set up for rape, it emerged on Monday."
New Yorker Sheds New Light on NSA's Warrantless Wiretapping and Data Mining
Defusing the population bomb (LA Times)
School safety drill sends students running for their lives (US)

## Japan ##
Radiation Found In Seaweed Near Crippled Japan Plant
Cores Damaged at Three Reactors
Fukushima nuclear plant not built to take megaquake
Giant barge to store radioactive water from Japan nuclear plant (includes video)
TEPCO plans to book group net loss of over Y800 bil for FY 2010
When it comes to mighty Tepco, pride goes before the fall
Radioactive material dispersal prediction system proves useless
Japan Government Failing as Disaster Response Hurts DPJ
Second quake budget won't be ready until August
Only 4 percent of fishing boats in coastal town in useable condition after tsunami
Used vehicle sales down for fifth month, 9.8% on year
"Used vehicle sales in Japan, excluding minivehicles of up to 660 cc, fell 9.8 percent in April from a year earlier to 309,693 units, marking the fifth straight month of decline."
Theme Park Revenue Down 50% In March

## China ##
China: When Banks Stop Lending, Go To A Loan Shark Or Stop Production
Gangs muscling in on key activities
"The battle to control land, natural resources, food and construction is driving gang-related crime, a senior police officer said."
Drought leaves 1,400 reservoirs 'dead' in C China

## UK ##
Police Federation: Officers hit from all sides by cuts
"Police officers feel they are being 'hit from all sides' by spending cuts, the Police Federation has said. Its chairman, Paul McKeever, said proposed changes could push their terms and conditions 'back decades'."
Armed Forces face billions of pounds of further cuts in additional MoD cost review
Bomb warning received in London
"A bomb threat for London has been issued by Irish dissidents in the first coded warning outside Northern Ireland in 10 years, officials say."

## US ##
Social Security TF – "We lost $1.1 Trillion last year!"
US Dipping into Pensions as it Hits Debt Limit
"U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Congress he would start tapping into federal pension funds on Monday to free up borrowing capacity as the nation hits the $14.294 trillion legal limit on its debt."
Long ago I started telling people to kiss their pensions goodbye. And the looting of pension funds is just getting started. -- RF
Reality Bites: Medicare Insolvency Coming Sooner Than Expected
Real-estate nightmare looms for retirees
Five Things You Need to Know: This Is What the Economy Really Looks Like
Wow! Just look at the graphs under number 1. About that recovery... -- RF
California's $10.8 billion budget battle
Gold Coins Still Strong in Commodities Decline
Gun-shy U.S. businesses back away from Mexico
Car Prices Quietly Spike As Japanese Model Shortages Grow
Rising Food and Gas Costs Push Consumer Price Index Higher
Extensive Methane Leaks Discovered Under Streets of Boston
Although this article is framed in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, its greater significance is as an indicator of crumbling industrial infrastructure. -- RF
With debt limit reached, tensions rise first in Washington
Why Obama rejected John Glenn's plea to save the space shuttle progam
"We just don't have the money to do it."
As I've said many times already, space development is winding down and in the future will be limited to military purposes. -- RF
Las Vegas: how the recession has hit Sin City
Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack haunt in Las Vegas closing down
Full impact of Arkansas flooding yet to be seen
Aerostat Balloon Crashes into Neighborhood (video)
New York manufacturing gauge drops sharply in May
Weekly Insider Buying And Selling: $2.8 Million In Purchases; $1 Billion In Sales
A Pennsylvania town on the brink (CNN Money video)
American Despair About The Economy Rises, As US Future Dims

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