Thursday, May 26, 2011


News Links, May 27, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
China to Buy Europe Bailout Bonds
China Urges 'Democratic Consultation' Over IMF Head
UBS CEO's Nightmare
Economies around the world are growing more slowly
G-8 Says Commodity Rise Threatens Growth, Vows Deficit Cuts
Dubai World mulls refinancing a further $850m
Greece Is 'Insolvent,' Unlikely to Honor Debt, Issing Says
MIDF Downgrades Malaysia Airlines To A 'Sell', Reduces Target Price

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Syrian opposition calls on army to join revolt
Egypt to open its border with Gaza
Mexico gang shootout in Nayarit state kills 28
Headless corpses spark worries on Mexico's southern border
Hundreds flee drug violence - and their homes - in Mexico
Civil war looms as dozens killed in Yemen capital
Yemen Shortages Worsen as Street Violence Leaves Locals Searching for Food
Pakistan trims U.S. military mission as mistrust grows
"Pakistan's government has told the United States to halve the number of military trainers it has stationed in the country."
Iraq's Sadr rallies supporters against U.S. troop extension
"Anti-U.S. Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr brought thousands of Shi'ite supporters onto the streets of Baghdad on Thursday in a show of force against any extension of the U.S. military presence in Iraq past a year-end deadline."
Militiamen celebrate hatred of America (video)
Moqtada al-Sadr's troops aren't just a ragtag bunch of men with nothing but a charismatic leader. Here you can see they are dressed in uniforms and have received military drill. Further, by basing himself among the poor, al-Sadr is able to tap into a huge explosive pool of discontent. -- RF
Seven injured in Istanbul explosion
Spain says receives Libya ceasefire request
Lockheed proposes $5bn Aegis ships sale to Saudi Arabia
New China Missile Unit Near Taiwan: Spy Chief

## Global unrest ##
Blasts near east China government buildings injure five
G8 summit: Arab uprisings set to dominate agenda
Arab Spring makes world less peaceful for third year running
Up to 40,000 flee unrest in Sudan's Abyei: UN
Youth Protests Sweep Spain As Unemployment Soars
Social networks power Spain protests
Georgian protest crushed as president blames Russia
"Georgian riot police used teargas, water cannon and rubber bullets on Thursday to halt five days of demonstrations against President Mikheil Saakashvili, who blamed the unrest on Russia."

## Energy/resources ##
Speculator Ghosts in the Oil Machine (More great observations from Gregor Macdonald)
"Persistent strength in the price of oil has once again unleashed maximum nonsense about the influence of speculators. Yes, it's painful that oil never returned to earth after its 2004 repricing. But, in the search for an explanation, substituting the arcane for the obvious will not help: speculators did not create 5-6 years of flat to falling global oil production. Furthermore, as oil made its way from below $25.00 to its new level at $100.00, more of the world's cheap oil from old reservoirs was swapped out for the new. Given that this new oil is much harder to extract, the world economy is lucky that oil remains so cheap. $100 is a bargain."
OPEC braces to meet rising oil demand
China Luring Crude From U.S. as Ecopetrol Targets Asia for Surge in Output
Singh stresses India engagement in Africa
The Implications of the Fukushima Accident on the World's Operating Reactors (video)

## Got food? ##
India not to allow wheat, rice export from govt stocks
Farmers kiss rice harvest goodbye (China)
Global Food Production May Be Hurt as Climate Shifts, UN Forecaster Says
Higher Food Costs Will Eat Into McDonald's Profit Margins

## Environment/health ##
Scientists doubt methane from BP oil spill is 'nearly all gone'
Brazil does away with laws to protect large swaths of rainforest
"Brazil's powerful agricultural sector has scored a major victory, with the approval by the lower house of Congress of a reform that would open up some protected forests to cropland and ranchers."
E.coli warning after Germany outbreak (UK)
Bedbug infestation index ranks New York as top American city

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Skype hit by global service crash
China confirms deployment of online army
US military set to lead on US domestic cyber-security
Inside the Global War to Stop Web Hackers

## Japan ##
Fukushima May Become Graveyard for Radioactive Waste From Crippled Plant
Fukushima nuclear plant is leaking like a sieve
Japan's Ricoh to cut 10,000 jobs
Cut, cut, cut. -- RF
Wary Japanese send sales of Geiger counters soaring
Greenpeace: Japan nuclear plant radiation accumulating in marine life
"Radiation from Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant is accumulating in marine life off Japan's coast above legal limits for food contamination, Greenpeace said Thursday."
Farmers in 5 prefectures to demand TEPCO pay Y10 bil in damages
U.N. cites 'synchronous' infrastructure failure
Over 300 medical institutions in coastal areas hit by tsunami not operating
Toshiba backpedals on nuclear energy strategy
"With countries around the world rethinking their energy policies, Toshiba Corp. has been forced to retreat from its ambitious plan to sell nuclear reactors overseas and will focus more on renewable energy."
Japan: anti-government criticism on the rise

## China ##
China Steel Output May Fall From June on Power Cuts, Platou Says
China Auto Sales May Decline 10% This Year
Shanghai to ensure residents'power supply
"Shanghai power authorities have signed electricity use agreements with thousands of local enterprises to ensure residential compounds do not suffer blackouts in the summer, despite the 1.1 million kilowatt shortage the city is expected to experience."
Power shortages may close department stores (Shanghai)
Are China's Factories Running out of Power? (Jeff Rubin at Financial Sense)
China's annual gold demand to exceed 700 tons soon
More efforts needed to help Chinese graduates find jobs, gov't says
Fuel surcharges rise for the 3rd time this year
"Fuel surcharges for domestic flights rose again Thursday due to an increase in the procurement costs of aviation fuel, The Beijing News reported."

## UK ##
Councils urged over 'threatened' local roads
Alcohol-related hospital admissions reach record level
Government spending cuts may be going too fast, OECD warns
Rise in eastern European workers

## US ##
Las Vegas to build 500ft Ferris wheel, bigger than London Eye
More wreckage to decorate the post-industrial world. -- RF
Manufacturing growth slows to near zero in Fed's Kansas City district
"Manufacturing expansion plunges from 14 to 1 in a single month. Trend of manufacturing slowdown is consistent with reports from other Federal Reserve districts."
The Fed Does It Again: $80 Billion Secretive "Bank Subsidy" Program Uncovered, Providing Bank Loans At 0.01% Interest
Fed balance sheet hits another record size
Home sales: 28 percent involve foreclosure
Massive power outage knocks out service to thousands in western Pa.
Unemployment Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Increased to 424,000 Last Week
Cost to Insure U.S. "Ponzi Scheme" Against Default Rises Sharply
National Guard completes largest-ever exercise
Marine Chief Predicts Coming Budget Crisis Will Be the Worst One Yet
Army Considers Pack Mules to Move Equipment in Tough Afghan Terrain

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