Monday, May 30, 2011


News Links, May 31, 2011

## Global economic meltdown/dollar dump ##
Greece set for severe bail-out conditions (FT)
"European leaders are negotiating a deal that would lead to unprecedented outside intervention in the Greek economy, including international involvement in tax collection and privatisation of state assets, in exchange for new bail-out loans for Athens."
Panic Capital Flight in Greece, Depositors Yank 1.5 Billion Euros in 2 Days;EU Wants Severe Bail-Out Conditions Including International Tax Collection (Mish)
EU Holds Unannounced Emergency Talks With Greece Over Weekend To Draft Second Bailout As Two Year Greek Bonds Pass 26%
Tensions Worsen Between Berlin and European Central Bank (Spiegel)
China Behind Massive Foreign Buying in Japanese Bonds
"China is stepping up buying in Japanese government bonds, particularly notes with less than one year to maturity, market players say, in what looks like a fresh drive to diversify its ballooning foreign reserves after U.S. government bill yields fell."
Country regions' needs ignored: mayors (Australia)
Just as in the US, there's no more money left to spend on regions with low population density. -- RF
UBS Seen 'Dire' Client Activity in Recent Weeks: Report
Mobius Says Another Financial Crisis 'Around The Corner'
"Are the derivatives regulated? No. Are you still getting growth in derivatives? Yes."
Swaziland king cancels silver jubilee amid economic crisis
HSBC Expands Yuan Offerings to Australia
"HSBC Holdings PLC plans to offer customers in Australia yuan-denominated financial products as part of the bank's efforts to roll out services using China's currency across the region."
Markets Fret About Euro 'Slow-Motion Car Crash'
Saudi moves to limit foreign workers' permits
"Saudi Arabia's labor minister says the kingdom will not renew work permits of expatriate workers who have been in the country for six years or more, a step aimed at boosting job opportunities for Saudis."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Who cares in the Middle East what Obama says? (The Independent)
Six killed as Yemeni forces fire at protesters in Taiz
Islamist militants control 2nd Yemeni town
Vietnam accuses China of cutting cables in seas dispute
DUBAI: A Skyline Built by Slaves
'Scores defect' from Gaddafi's army
Libya: Five generals defect as pressure mounts on Muammar Gaddafi
Al-Jazeera footage captures 'western troops on the ground' in Libya
Suicide attacks hit Somali capital
Gates: Defense Cuts Will Shrink U.S. Role Worldwide
Dempsey Would Support Keeping U.S. Troops in Iraq Past Deadline If Needed

## Global unrest ##
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest (AP)
Yemen, Syria Fire on Demonstrators
China to Change Mine Rules After Mongolia Unrest
China plans trial, tamps unrest in Inner Mongolia
Inner Mongolia protests prompt crackdown
"Hu Chunhua, Communist party chief in Inner Mongolia, orders censorship of information and clampdown on visitors."
Unrest biggest threat to business (Gulf News)
Meet the Oil-Rich Mid-East Monarchies Hell-Bent on Pushing Back the Democratic Revolutions of the Mideast
Spanish protesters say they won't give up
Hundreds in Paris demo modelled on Spain protest
Three killed as army enters central Syrian town
Gulf Air lays off hundreds, sales drop on unrest
"Gulf Air, Bahrain's loss-making national carrier, said it had laid off 200 employees and bookings were down a quarter following political and social unrest in Bahrain and the region."

## Energy/resources ##
Weathering The Storm: Above-Normal Hurricane Season Predicted
Libyan production unlikely to resume soon
Eskom walks tightrope to avoid power cuts (South Africa)
"With minimal spare capacity, an ageing infrastructure and the economy picking up, the company is walking a tightrope in its battle to prevent load shedding, when power utilities, long starved of investment, cut back supply."
S.Africa's Eskom secures $805.6 mln loan from US bank
Malaysia Raises Power Prices
"Malaysia raised electricity tariffs and the price of natural gas for the power sector as rising oil and gas prices have made its subsidy burden 'unsustainable.'"

## Got food? ##
Crop prices need to fall along with the rain
Russia Lifting Grain-Export Ban May Fail to Alleviate Global Crop Shortage
We had damn well better hope not. -- RF
World's largest E coli outbreak kills 14 in Germany
"More than 300 seriously ill in Germany as E coli bacterium spreads to other northern European countries."
World food aid programs see cuts
Venezuelans struggle to cope with soaring food prices, inflation tops Latin America
Farmers fear potentially crushing impact of carbon tax (Australia)

## Environment/health ##
Mercury, PCBs widespread in sport fish along California's urban coastline, survey finds
'Killer cucumbers' row breaks out between Spain and Germany

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Iran Vows to Unplug Internet
UK developing cyber-weapons programme to counter cyber war threat
Australia warns on cyber attacks on resource firms
Facing The New Dark Age: A Grassroots Approach
"Despite four decades of detailed warnings, industrial civilization has failed to turn aside from self-destructive policies of exponential growth and dependence on nonrenewable resources. At this point, stark limits of time and resources as well as a failure of political will make attempts to prevent the fall of industrial society an exercise in futility. Individuals, small groups, and communities can still prepare for the approaching crises by mastering low-tech survival skills now to lay foundations for a sustainable society in the future."

## Japan ##
Fukushima Risks Chernobyl 'Dead Zone'
"Radioactive soil in pockets of areas near Japan's crippled nuclear plant have reached the same level as Chernobyl, where a "dead zone" remains 25 years after the reactor in the former Soviet Union exploded."
Fukushima forestry industry at risk of collapse due to ongoing nuclear crisis
No restart for south Japan reactors until safety assured
" Two nuclear reactors shut for maintenance in southern Japan will not be allowed to restart until Tokyo officials answer questions on safety policy, Saga prefecture's governor Yasushi Furukawa said on Monday."
Japan fails in promise to rehouse 30,000 victims
"The Japanese government has failed to live up to its promise to provide 30,000 temporary housing units for people who lost their homes in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, or who have been evacuated from villages close to the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant."
Japan Development Bank Plans Auto-Parts Aid
S&P cuts TEPCO rating by 5 notches to junk status
Power and gas utilities to raise charges in July for 4th month on fuel price hikes
Japan continues to log trade deficit in early May

## China ##
Beijing loses its allure as grads put off by expense, pressures
Prices on rise for vegetables
Over-reliance on US dollar (China Daily)
China's Coal Prices Rise for a Seventh Week, Stockpiles Fall
China Raises Industrial Power Prices in 15 Provinces to Help Ease Shortage
OK, they bit the bullet, but now comes the inflation. -- RF
China's largest inland lake dries up as country battles drought
Drought parches China's 'land of fish and rice'

## UK ##
Orwell 2.0? De Montfort proposes wi-fi surveillance
Queen concerned that United Kingdom will be broken up
Top UK bosses 'see their pay increase by 32%'
BCC cuts growth forecast for the UK economy
Motoring groups demand petrol price investigation
It's speculators. -- RF

## US ##
New Mexico pushes ahead with spaceport despite setbacks
I'm speechless. -- RF
We've Gone from a Nation of Laws to a Nation of Powerful Men Making Laws in Secret
Empty summer in the city for kids hit by cutbacks
"Swimming pools are being closed; recreation centers are locking their doors; library summer reading programs are suffering; openings for short-term jobs have evaporated."
As Drug Shortages Rise, Hospitals Hunt For Substitutes
Wall Street "Vastly Underestimating" Risk of Debt Default
Sun is setting on rural post offices
Another chapter in the story of how rural and low-population regions are being abandoned. -- RF
New York City budget will decimate libraries
"New York City's billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced plans to cut nearly $100 million from the city's libraries."
Coal 'ghost towns' loom in West Virginia

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