Wednesday, May 25, 2011


News Links, May 26, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Belarus Headed for Economic 'Meltdown,' 51% Ruble Plunge, VTB Capital Says
High oil prices, oversupply in capacity may affect airlines' growth
OECD sees risk of 'stagflation' for global recovery
Global Crisis 'May Not Be Over Yet': OECD
"The US and Japan 'have yet to produce credible medium-term plans' to stabilise their debt, while other countries need to provide more clarity on how their fiscal consolidation targets will be met."
The Momentum Behind Gold Keeps Building
"Gold is gaining currency -- quite literally. On Monday, the European Parliament announced that it will allow central counterparties, or CCPs, to use gold as collateral."
Greece considers referendum on austerity: reports
How Long Before Greek People Demand Default?
Australia Home Loan Delinquencies Jump to Record on Rate Rises, Fitch Says
Systemic Risk Elevated
Toyota And Honda Head To The Slaughterhouse

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Tribal fighters barricade Yemeni capital
Yemen: Sanaa airport 'shut' as tribes battle Saleh
Chaos swirls in Yemen's capital as government buildings burn
"Yemen's capital city sank toward anarchy Tuesday as rival armies fought pitched battles in a neighborhood of middle-class homes and government offices in the worst violence to sweep this city since anti-government protests began nearly four months ago."
Pakistan: militants attack police station
Insurgents briefly capture Afghan district
China's growing presence in Africa (Reuters report)
Colombia vows to break up drug gangs, beat rebels
Tajikistan at growing risk of insurgency: report
Syria cuts diesel price by 25 pct amid unrest
U.K., U.S. To Establish Joint Strategy Board

## Global unrest ##
Week of Rage: Protests Spreading Worldwide (video)
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest
Where in the world could revolution strike next?
"You can make a good case for the financial crisis having created a wave of fractures throughout the supply chain and cutting global capacity across the board."
Africa turmoil looms over food price rise
"Africa is facing what African Development Bank President Donald Kaberuka calls a "Molotov cocktail" of rising food and oil prices that analysts fear could trigger widespread political upheaval like that which has swept the Arab world since January."
Unrest in China after Mongol herder's death: group (AFP)
"Hundreds of ethnic Mongols have protested in China this week over the killing of a shepherd that has sparked online calls for even bigger future demonstrations, human rights organisations have said."
Economic unrest making world less peaceful - survey

## Energy/resources ##
Fukushima a stake through nuclear industry's heart
Crisis likely spells end for nuclear plant pursuit, Japan PM tells U.K. paper
U.S. sues big oil traders for 2008 manipulation
Waste Heat Recovery: The Next Wave of Clean Tech
This sounds great... but it's actually just another component in the dying industrial system. -- RF
The Saudi Arabia of Coal (and China's coal demand)

## Got food? ##
Locusts: looming in central Asia (FT)
"So severe is the situation that the FAO is launching a battle against locusts amid warnings that global food inflation has hit poorer countries in central Asia and the Caucasus particularly hard and could stoke social and political tensions like those in the Middle East."
Hedge fund managers pour assets into farmland as doomsday food scenario approaches
Food Inflation Accelerating as Nestle, McDonald's React to Commodity Surge
"U.S. food-price inflation may top the government's forecast as higher crop, meat, dairy and energy costs lead companies including Nestle SA, McDonald's Corp. (MCD) and Whole Foods Market Inc. (WFMI) to boost prices."

## Environment/health ##
Tuberculosis on the rise in France
Factory Farms Produce 100 Times More Waste Than All People In the US Combined and It's Killing Our Drinking Water

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Data Centers: The Energy Problem (US)
"According to a recent report from Pike Research on cloud computing and energy efficiency, data centers consumed 201.8 TWh (terrawatt hours) in 2010 and energy expenditures reached $23.3 billion. That's about the same amount of electricity needed to power 19 million average U.S. households."
Shanghai police employ 4,000 CCTV watchers
US to store passenger data for 15 years
Things Are Now Spinning Out Of Control
"The single greatest conceit of the Status Quo in the U.S., China and Euroland is that systems and trends can be tightly controlled. That conceit is slowly being revealed as hubris, as all sorts of things are spinning out of the control of the centralized authorities and financial elites in each geopolitical power center."

## Japan ##
Fukushima Reactor 1 Drywell Reading Hits All Time High 204 Sieverts/Hour
Two damaged reactors may have holes in their containment vessels: TEPCO data
TEPCO says meltdown likely at 2 other reactors
More radioactive water may leak from Fukushima plant
Ibaraki farmers to demand Y6.5 bil in damages from TEPCO
Citizens, local gov'ts target vending machines for energy saving
There has been a decades-long campaign against vending machines. -- RF
Summer power-saving goal to be eased for hospitals, trains
Summer Temperatures Likely Normal Or Higher In Most Of Japan
Japan reports April trade deficit of $5.6B
19 prefectures to join solar power project led by Softbank
How incredibly shortsighted. In the near future people will be ripping this junk up to free up the farmland. The day will come when people will gladly eat in the dark. -- RF

## China ##
China fears soaring inflation could bring street protests
Defying Planners, China's Utilities Cut Electricity Production (NYT)
"The companies say they face financial ruin if the government continues to tightly limit the prices they can charge customers."
China faces severe drought along Yangtze
China Real Estate: 100,000 Apartments Waiting To Be Sold In Beijing
China faces challenges in grain production

## UK ##
Dagong Cuts U.K. Debt Rating on 'High' Deficit, Economic Outlook
Interest rates must be raised this year, OECD warns
Libya Apache deployment signals Britain's escalating role in conflict
Ambitious Plan Launches to Establish Bee Corridors Across the U.K.

## US ##
Moody's: Commercial Real Estate Prices declined 4.2% in March, Hit new Post-Bubble Low
We've Just Breached the Debt Ceiling… Next Comes the Default
US Economy Damaged More Than Thought by Japan Quake
Durable-Goods Orders in U.S. Dropped 3.6% in April, the Most in Six Months
"Orders for U.S. durable goods dropped more than forecast in April, reflecting a slump in aircraft demand and disruptions in supplies of auto parts stemming from the earthquake in Japan."
Here Comes Another GDP Downgrade
$1 trillion on the table in debt talks
Pile of debt would stretch beyond stratosphere
Report: 'Unacceptable threat' from spent-fuel pools at US nuclear power plants
"Overcrowded spent-fuel pools at US nuclear power plants pose an 'unacceptable threat to the public,' says risk assessor. Much of the leaked radiation from Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi came from spent-fuel pools."
Home deconstruction: Can an entire house be recycled?
"Deconstruction of a home to reuse or resell its materials is gaining popularity as a more environment-friendly alternative to demolition. Sometimes it even saves money."
It's the wave of the future. -- RF
Retirement concerns plague baby boomers
Nearly Half of Americans Are 'Financially Fragile'
There's a Secret Patriot Act, Senator Says
"You may think you understand how the Patriot Act allows the government to spy on its citizens. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) says it's worse than you've heard.
"Congress is set to reauthorize three controversial provisions of the surveillance law as early as Thursday. But Wyden says that what Congress will renew is a mere fig leaf for a far broader legal interpretation of the Patriot Act that the government keeps to itself — entirely in secret. Worse, there are hints that the government uses this secret interpretation to gather what one Patriot-watcher calls a "dragnet" for massive amounts of information on private citizens; the government portrays its data-collection efforts much differently."
Financial Benefits of a College Education Are Smaller Than You'd Think
FACTBOX-US oil refiners threatened by flooding rivers

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