Thursday, June 30, 2011


News Links, July 1, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
New Investment Strategy: Preparing for End Times
As battle rages outside, Greek MPs usher in an age of brutal austerity
Greece is First Car in Fiscal 'Train Wreck': RBA
German Banks Reach an Agreement on Rolling Over Greek Debt, Schaeuble Says
Selling gold teeth to make ends meet in Greece
Sri Lanka Allows Chinese Renminbi for Banking Transactions
Italy Approves Austerity Package to Stave Off Crisis
In Europe, late bill payments add to the squeeze
Mining Boom Makes Truck Tires Pricier Than Porsches, Condominiums in Miami
"Prices for tires about 3.5 meters (11 feet) across, used on the Caterpillar Inc. trucks that haul iron ore and coal, have touched $100,000 on the spot market, according to Leighton Holdings Ltd. (LEI), a contractor for mining companies including BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP) and Anglo American Ltd. Prices rose as high as $150,000 in 2008."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Sadrists campaign to bar US troops from civilian buildings in Iraq
"BAGHDAD // The Shiite cleric Moqtada Al Sadr is leading a campaign to bar US troops from cities and government buildings to pressure Baghdad and Washington to remove American forces from Iraq by the year-end, officials said.
"Members of Mr Al Sadr's political movement have asked about 10 provincial councils in central and southern Iraq, including the capital, Baghdad, to pass resolutions to keep US forces out of cities and Iraqi facilities."
Pakistan stops US from using drone base
"Pakistan has stopped the United States from using an air base in the southwest of the country to launch drone strikes against militant groups, according to the country's defence minister.
"Ahmed Mukhtar told journalists on Wednesday that US officials had been told to leave the Shamsi base in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, Pakistani state media reported."
Chinese Mongolians protest again, herders beaten: rights group
"BEIJING, June 30, 2011 (Reuters) — Chinese police beat up and detained ethnic Mongolian herders who protested over the weekend against pollution caused by a lead mine, an overseas rights group said on Thursday, in the latest unrest to strike China's remote Inner Mongolia."
China cracking down on rights lawyers: Amnesty
"Beijing has unleashed an 'uncompromising' assault on China's legal profession, targeting human rights lawyers in an effort to head off social unrest, Amnesty International said Thursday.
"The move was a bid to control rights lawyers who take on sensitive cases as fears mount that uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa could take root in the world's most populous nation, the rights group said in a new report."
Is China facing a summer of discontent? Upturn in mass protests and "unprecedented display of police strength"
Mob justice on the rise (South Africa)

## Energy/resources ##
Renewables Boom Could Strain Germany's Grid
"An uncontrolled renewable power expansion in Germany could threaten the stability of energy grids, the head of energy agency Dena told Reuters on Wednesday.
"Failure to connect new capacity near demand centers or near transport grids or storage facilities would waste assets or put at risk the grids' stability, said Dena's director, Stephan Kohler, in an interview on the sidelines of a sector conference."
What's the energy source? What's the EROEI? I wouldn't get excited. -- RF
Steelmakers unable to pass on soaring costs
"RIO DE JANEIRO (MarketWatch) -- Steelmakers globally are unable to pass on rising raw materials costs to their customers, and industry profit is shifting to mining companies, a Brazilian Steel Institute, or IABr, official said Tuesday."
Oil-Rich Middle-East Running Low on Gas: Analyst
"With half the world's known reserves of oil and gas sitting in the fields of Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Qatar and the rest of the region, not many people think of the Middle East as having problems with energy.
"However, analysts at HSBC said that low, subsidized prices across the region are driving fuel shortages and this means the major producers in the region are going to need to spend huge amounts on new refining capacity to meet demand."
"As metal prices continue to climb, theft along Germany's railways has reached record levels. The missing parts are not only dangerous, the delays and cancellations they cause are damaging Deutsche Bahn's reputation."

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Biggest-ever criminal botnet links computers in more than 172 countries
"Computer security experts say they have detected what appears to be the world's largest-ever computer 'botnet,' a network of millions of computers controlled clandestinely by a criminal cyber gang with roots in Eastern Europe.
"No one yet knows for sure just how many million 'zombie' computers are under the thrall of this still-unnamed massive botnet, but it sprawls across 172 countries, according to Unveillance, the Wilmington, Del., botnet-tracking firm that announced the discovery Wednesday."
Jihadist web forum knocked off Internet
"A popular jihadist Internet forum has been knocked off the Internet, and counterterrorism experts say it appears it was hacked.
"Cybersecurity analysts say the al-Shamukh forum appears to have been taken down by a fairly sophisticated cyberattack that hit not only the website, but the server — which is the main computer that enables people to access the site over the Internet."

## Japan ##
"The country's manufacturers have been working around the clock to rebuild facilities and get back into production, even with reliable power scarce as utilities work to restore infrastructure back to full capacity. Despite these efforts, experts say it could take years before Japanese industry returns to pre-disaster production levels."
"An invasion of jellyfish into a cooling water pool at a Scottish nuclear power plant kept its nuclear reactors offline on Wednesday, a phenomenon which may grow more common in future, scientists said."
Revealed: British government's plan to play down Fukushima
Cargo theft report shows more organized load heists
"Electronics, building supplies and food remained top targets for thieves in the months of March through May, even though organized crime is dipping into cargo theft more, a recent report says."...
"The most targeted products, FreightWatch said, were copper, steel, aluminum, laptops, televisions, computers, audio equipment, chicken, beef, candy and frozen food."
Smaller Businesses Seeking Loans Still Come Up Empty
"Small businesses expected 2011 to be the moment a years-long credit freeze would finally begin to thaw. But borrowing has only gotten worse."
10 Mile Mandatory Evacuation Area Around Ft. Calhoun Nuke Plant (Daily Paul)
Calif. Legislature OKs deep spending cuts
"California lawmakers have passed a budget with deep spending cuts for higher education, programs for the poor and the first park closings in state history."
Texas Cotton Farmers May Abandon Record Acres Because of Drought
"'This year will probably rank among the top abandonments,' said John Robinson, a professor and extension economist at Texas A&M University in College Station. 'The situation looks very grave.'"
"[The manager] said the reason El Paso residents have experienced so many small power outages in the past few weeks is that many of the transformers were not built to handle new appliances like large-screen television and refrigerated air conditioners. Once people add these appliances to their homes, the load becomes too heavy for the transformers and they blow out."
"'It's very difficult to find the right person, and there's all walks of life trying to find jobs. I honestly think there's a large swath of unemployable,' said Russo, whose firm manufactures and supplies analytical standards. 'They don't have any skills at all.'"

And finally...

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


News Links, June 30, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Korea Announces Household Debt Plan
"Reflecting widespread home ownership and increased borrowing to finance major expenditures such as education, South Korea has some of the highest levels of household debt in the developed world."
Danish Banks Face International Funding Wall
"Denmark's banks face reluctance from international investors to buy their bonds after a second regional lender failed this month, triggering Europe's toughest resolution rules."
The Screaming Fundamentals For Owning Gold And Silver (Chris Martenson)
Spain Starts Wireless-Spectrum Sale to Raise $2.9 Billion to Trim Deficit
Greece backs first austerity package, violence worsens
Why the Greek debt crisis won't 'grow away'
"Trouble is, things are not likely to go well. There is no plausible growth rate that will make it possible for the Greeks to 'grow their way out' of this debt. All they can do is default, one way or another."
S&P to deeply cut U.S. ratings if debt payment missed (Reuters)
Moody's Sees U.S. Rating Cut to Aa On Default (Bloomberg)
Singapore Sets Capital Rules for Local Banks Higher Than Basel III Minimum
The Coming Chinese Depression (Daily Bell)
"Conclusion: The seeming inevitability of the coming Chinese Crash is surely the largest and most significant economic story of the upcoming decade. Look for concerted, regular coverage in your local newspapers and periodicals ... Not."
IMF Urges U.S. Debt-Ceiling Increase to Avoid a 'Severe Shock' to Economy

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
North Korea threatens 'sacred war' against South
Russia cuts off power to Belarus
"MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Russia cut off electricity supplies to struggling Belarus over unpaid bills on Wednesday, raising the heat on its economically struggling neighbor."
Kissinger: US and China not competing for world domination
What kind of BS is this? There has never been any other game, and there never will be. -- RF
Iran begins shelling anew inside Iraq
Riyadh will build nuclear weapons if Iran gets them, Saudi prince warns
France supplying weapons to Libyan rebels
"France has begun supplying weapons to the Libyan rebels despite the UN arms embargo, confirming on Wednesday it had dropped assault rifles into the Nafusa Mountains south-west of Tripoli."
China lambastes Japan after Taiwan boat confrontation
"BEIJING, June 29, 2011 (Reuters) — China's Foreign Ministry lambasted Japan on Wednesday after a confrontation between a Taiwanese fishing boat and a Japanese coast guard vessel near a group of disputed islands in the East China Sea."

## Global unrest ##
Egypt: Fresh clashes erupt in Cairo's Tahrir Square
Special Report:China migrant unrest exposes generation faultline
Syrian tanks shell villages, Assad offers dialogue
Five Saudi women detained for defying kingdom's driving ban, activist says
Senegal deploys army to halt anti-government riots
Austerity Riots - A Glimpse Of America's Future?
Unrest: Middle East and North Africa, country by country

## Energy/resources ##
Iraq can barely handle oil security in south
"BASRA, Iraq, June 29, 2011 (Reuters) — Iraq is barely capable of protecting its vital oil infrastructure and could falter if its oil police do not get enough manpower and sophisticated security equipment soon, a senior Iraqi security official said."
And what are they protecting? Iraq's oil infrastructure is a pile of rusting junk. -- RF
Brazil Steelmakers Face 'Increasingly Difficult' Coal Supply
"RIO DE JANEIRO -(Dow Jones)- Some new steel mills planned in Brazil won't emerge due to coal supply difficulties, industry consultants said Tuesday."
Crude oil hovers near $93 per barrel
How critical is critical metals demand and supply
Brazil and China Battle Over Copper in Africa
"Brazil and China are heading for a battle of strategic necessity over copper in Africa that will leave the winner walking away with the most expensive acquisition of a diversified minerals company."
Stormy weather for nuclear plants?
Reality Check for the Natural Gas Boom: A Look at the NYT Shale Gas E-Mails
A good read on the shale gas boom. -- RF
China's Diesel Smile (Gregor Macdonald)
OPEC spare capacity, rig count and the big picture
Opec split threatens increase in Saudi oil production
"A growing split between the world's biggest oil consumers and major Opec producers over prices means Saudi Arabia may no longer increase its oil output by as much as it pledged."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Arrest Made In Dept. of Agriculture Outage
"An arrest has been made in connection with a copper theft that cut off telephone and internet service at the headquarters of the state Dept. of Agriculture near Charleston Tuesday."
Co-op power outage caused by copper theft

## Got food? ##
Global Agriculture Supply Worsening May Spur Food Shortages, Rogers Says
"The global agriculture supply situation has worsened and a failure to boost food production fast enough to meet demand may lead to shortages, said investor Jim Rogers, chairman of Rogers Holdings.
"'We've got to do something or we're going to have no food at any price at times in the next few years.'"
UN warns of severe food crisis in Horn of Africa
Soggy U.S. Corn Fields Curb Planting
"U.S. corn farmers were unable to plant on soggy or flooded fields from Arkansas to North Dakota this year, signaling tighter grain stockpiles even after rising demand for livestock feed and ethanol sent prices surging."
Reports of North Korea food shortages overblown, say US, South Korea

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
MasterCard website attacked by hackers
Hackers hit Arizona law enforcement
MidEast states fly military jets disguised as commercial planes
"Middle East military jets equipped with state-of-the-art surveillance technology are being disguised as commercial aircraft to enable them to operate discreetly, defence experts told Arabian Business."

## Japan -- Long, Hot Summer ##
Summer power crunch for Tohoku Electric (article in Japanese)
Tohoku Electric, the utility that serves northeast Honshu, has determined its current maximum output to be 12,300 MW, which is more than 40% below its pre-disaster capacity of 21,100 MW. Maximum predicted demand in August is 13,000 MW to 13,800 MW. Rolling blackouts could become necessary if conservation can't hold down demand.
Saga closer to Genkai reactor resumption
Kyushu Electric has tight supply (article in Japanese)
President of Kyushu Electric says that because the Genkai reactors are off line, supply is tight, and the breakdown of even one thermal plant could bring supply below demand if the weather is as hot as it was last year.
Tokyo Metro subway stations to heat up from Friday
Hot day stokes power overload fear
"Demand for electricity in Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s service area totaled 45.7 million kw after 2 p.m. Wednesday, about 93 percent of the utility's maximum supply capacity."
Automakers Begin Designated Weekday Shutdowns
"TOKYO (Kyodo)--Japan's auto industry began designated weekday shutdowns Thursday, with three major automakers closing their plants through Friday as part of efforts to save electricity."
Japan Factory Output Jumps by Most in Nearly 60 Years
"Japanese factory output jumped by the most in almost 60 years in May as manufacturers restore supply chains damaged by the massive earthquake and tsunami in March, the latest evidence the economy is headed for a "V-shaped" recovery from the disaster."
A V-shaped recovery? From what? Japan's collapse started 20 years ago. This is nothing but noise. -- RF
Kansai Beats Back Nuclear Naysayers
Tepco Repeatedly Halts Water Treatment System Due To Alarm
Spent fuel causing headaches for nuclear power plants
"The accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has brought to light the cascading problem of spent nuclear fuel that threatens to overwhelm Japan's nuclear power plants."
Census Shows Social Security At Breaking Point
Shareholders meetings peak in Japan focusing on post-disaster earnings

## China ##
China Heading for a Hard Landing, Pt. 3
China's Bad Debt and Slowing Growth
China's debt bomb (CNN)
China's Top Auditor Warns of Chinese Local Government Defaults (Mish)
China's Local Governments Really Want To Default On Their Debts
China Pork Prices at Record High, Likely to Spur Inflation
Investors pile into the bet against China
"Manufacturing jobs are leaving China and returning to the U.S. But many investors are betting that that may actually be the least of China's problems."
In China, Corruption and Unrest Threaten Autocratic Rule

## UK ##
Household spending power suffers biggest drop in 34 years
Robbery on the rise amid fears of recession crimewave
Strikes among public sector workers begin

## US ##
Financial martial law: Crumbling US town on verge of democratic collapse (video)
Cops Fear Violence Against Flash Mobs
"UPPER DARBY, Pa. - As police in Upper Darby, Pa., search for more young people involved in last week's flash mob, more adults are thinking about arming themselves with guns.
"People are talking about how afraid they are of being caught in the path one of these flash mobs, while they're out minding their own business and they want to be ready."
Mob of thieves descends on Atlanta store
"ATLANTA, June 28 (UPI) -- A smash-and-grab mob of almost a dozen thieves plundered a clothing boutique in downtown Atlanta in an early morning robbery, police said."
Commercial Lenders Take Step Into Riskier Deals
"An increasing number of financial institutions are vying to make loans on commercial real estate now. But many buildings are still drowning under heavy debt loads, leaving few properties that can support new borrowing."
Does Greece owe you? How the Greece crisis affects US money market funds
Cost of US wars since 9/11? At least $3.7 trillion, study finds
Police Forced Out Due to Budget Crisis (Texas)
US Enters Next Round of Public Pensions Fight
You Thought California State Pensions Were Out Of Control? Wait Until You See This List From Illinois
Debit-Card Swipe Fees to Be Capped at 21 Cents: Fed
Gutting of the Big Banks Has Begun!
Minnesota braces for a government shutdown
Extreme tuition hikes ahead

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


News Links, June 29, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
No relief seen from inflation in S. Korea
Afghanistan Central Bank Head Flees To US
Specter of Years of Stagnating Wages Hunts the Globe (FT via CNBC)
"In the postwar years, there was a belief in developed economies that each generation could expect to have materially better living standards than their parents. Yet the outlook for income growth has rarely looked worse than it does today."
Debt saturation and energy decline make it inevitable. And it's going to get worse as the global "growth-economy" Ponzi scheme continues to unravel. -- RF
Dollar Seen Losing Global Reserve Status
No bailout Plan B, EU warns Greece
"The European Commission insisted today it isn't bluffing over the euro crisis - if Greece does not vote for more austerity tomorrow there is no more EU bailout money."
Eh Bien, Madame Lagarde, About Those Local Debts, They Too Are in Crisis
A good read. Local governments around the world are up to their eyeballs in debt. -- RF
Indian Companies Tighten Their Belts (WSJ)
"NEW DELHI—India's companies are scaling back spending and curbing expansion plans this year, putting a dampener on the country's economic growth, in an unintended consequence of interest-rate hikes aimed at stemming inflation."
Campbell to cut 770 jobs, close Russian operations
Up to 15 EU banks to fail stress test
Saab can finally pay workers... to do nothing

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Population bomb: 9 billion march to WWIII (Paul Farrell)
Iran: Our missiles can reach US bases, Israel
Iran fires missiles in second day of war games
As Yemen Teeters From Political Unrest, a Humanitarian Crisis May Not Be Far Off
Philippine-US joint naval drill amid tension with China
South China Sea disputes could lead to war in Asia: think tank
"CANBERRA, June 28, 2011 (Reuters) — Risks are growing that incidents at sea involving China could lead to war in Asia, potentially drawing in the United States and other powers, an Australian think tank warned on Tuesday."
Berlin Willing to Supply Weapons for Libyan War
"NATO is running out of munitions to use in the Libya conflict. Now the German government is willing to supply weapons to its allies, despite its fundamental opposition to the war, SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned. The defense minister has already approved a NATO request. "
Egypt spy trials sour links with Israel
Afghanistan: Kabul's Intercontinental hotel attacked by Taliban militants
South Korea braced for North Korean 'provocation' as tension mounts
Gunmen kill police chief inside his Mexico office
China rejects US involvement in South China Sea disputes
Saudi Arabia Using Oil as an Economic Weapon Against Iran
So far it appears that KSA no longer has the spare capacity to do it. -- RF
Exclusive: Yemen weighs military options to repair pipeline
Yemen is toast. -- RF
Rumors over Chavez absence reach frenzy in Venezuela

## Global unrest ##
Senegal: Protests in Dakar and Mbour over power cuts
"In Dakar, several government buildings were set on fire including the offices of the state electricity company.
"Security forces in Mbour fired tear gas to disperse thousands of demonstrators."
General strike under way in Greece
Fierce battles break out amid mass Greece protest
Arab Spring: Nature of armies decisive in revolutions

## Energy/resources ##
Japanese firm to recover gold, silver from E-waste
Crude oil back at $92 per barrel
Prepare for a world energy war (Michael T. Klare)
However, I disagree that in 30 years renewables will be able to take up the slack. -- RF
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve Release Has Now Been Fully Priced In As Crude, Gasoline Surge
Dubai Denies Emirate Neighbors Fuel in Struggle to Pay Debt: Arab Credit
"Dubai, the second-largest of seven sheikhdoms in the United Arab Emirates, has stopped supplying gasoline to its neighbors as subsidies on fuel prices squeeze the city's ability to service and repay debt.
"Emirates National Oil Co., a Dubai government-owned refiner and operator of service stations, closed filling points in neighboring Sharjah and restricted supplies to other northern emirates last week. Dubai has $16 billion of publicly held debt maturing later this year, International Monetary Fund data show."
China's CNPC says Iraqi oil field now onstream
Flooded Nebraska nuclear plant raises broader disaster fears

## Got food? ##
China told to reduce food production or face 'dire' water levels
"China needs to reduce food production on its dry northern plains or aquifers will diminish to a "dire" level in 30 years, one the country's leading groundwater experts has warned."
Extreme drought drives up food prices
Commodities Watch: Corn-Wheat Imbalance Continues

## Environment/health ##
Horn of Africa sees 'worst drought in 60 years'

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Waterlogged Sask. highways crumble in spots (Canada)
'Anonymous' hackers declare war on Orlando
"The hacker group Anonymous on Monday declared war against the city of Orlando, Florida, over the arrest of people handing out food to homeless people."
Why China established 'Online Blue Army'
At end, bin Laden wasn't running al Qaida, officials say
This whole debate about whether bin Laden was in command or not is absurd because he'd already been dead for years. -- RF

## Japan ##
Japan: "Too Rich To Be Bankrupt"
"Societe Generale not only believes that Japan is on course for a v-shaped recovery, but they also say Japan is 'too rich to be bankrupt.'"
I've been waiting to see that V-shaped recovery for 20 years. No sign of it yet. -- RF
Radioactive water leaks from Tepco plant
1 Sievert Water Leaking From Fukushima As Full Body Radiation Checks Begin Across Prefecture
34,000 Fukushima children to receive radiation meters
Heat stroke hospitalization cases from June 20-26 up 5-fold on year
38 years of nuke profit up in smoke?
"Tokyo Electric Power Co. faces a potential damages bill exceeding its profits from nuclear power generation over a 38-year period beginning in 1970, the year it opened the crisis-hit Fukushima No. 1 plant, according to a recent study."
Moody's Cuts Toyota Rating; Further Downgrade Possible
Japan Utilities Take Bond-Market Hit
Agriculture minister supports putting solar panels in fallow fields
Stupid and shortsighted. -- RF
Tax hikes for reconstruction face stiff opposition
Japan's Kyushu: needs to buy more oil, LNG for summer peak

## China ##
Higher hydropower generation eases China power shortages - NDRC
Some Japanese companies in China also notified of rolling blackouts (link in Japanese)
Japanese companies in Kunshan City, an industrial city near Shanghai, are expected to share the pain.
China Heading for a Hard Landing, Pt. 2
Old pipes stymie water quality (Shanghai)
Who Says China Inflation is Under Control

## UK ##
Cuts protests: where is the anger now? Will a teachers' strike reignite the unrest?
Austerity engulfs the high street
"More than 10,000 retail jobs face the axe as the British high street faces one of its most painful bouts of contraction since the second world war amid the biggest squeeze on household budgets for decades."
Household income sees biggest fall since 1977
"UK households have seen the biggest fall in disposable income for more than 30 years, official figures have shown."

## US ##
Ron Paul: U.S. should declare 'bankruptcy'
Thousands Evacuated as Growing Blaze Nears Nuke Lab
Wildfire swells near New Mexico nuclear laboratory
How long can nuclear reactors last? US, industry extend spans
"When commercial nuclear power was getting its start in the 1960s and 1970s, industry and regulators stated unequivocally that reactors were designed only to operate for 40 years. Now they tell another story — insisting that the units were built with no inherent life span, and can run for up to a century."
Desperate situations make people spout absurdities. -- RF
Think Congress has a month to avert Debt Default Day? Think again.
Moody's cuts Connecticut outlook to negative
New Jersey Borrowing a Sign of Coming Muni Crisis: Whitney
Exactly what I said yesterday. Whitney has been right since the beginning. Don't touch that dial — the muni crash-and-burn show will go on! -- RF
Odd Letter From Corps Upsets Property Owners
J&J Recalling 60,000 Bottles of Tylenol
Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Fall by Most in 17 Months, Case-Shiller Says
The California Dream is fizzling out
Woman's leg broken, others hurt in Spring Garden mob attack

And finally... Woman sprays police with breast milk

Monday, June 27, 2011


News Links, June 28, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Extra Bank Capital Means 'Global Recession': Bove
Interest rates must rise worldwide, says BIS
"The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has warned that low interest rates across the globe are a threat to world financial stability."
Debt Hamstrings Recovery: Inability of Nations, Consumers to Get Out of Hock Weighs on Global Economy
Greece given hope as French banks agree debt rollover
Moody's Warns Of "Severe Greek Bank Cash Shortage" Due To Accelerating Deposit Flight
Leading German Economist Buys Greek Bonds On Belief in "Boundless Stupidity of German Government", Says Bailout Programs Will Exacerbate Problems
Moody's: Greek Banks Have Lost 8% of Deposits
"Greek banks have lost about 8 percent of their private-sector deposits so far this year as customers worried about Greece's potential debt default transferred funds abroad or bought gold, Moody's said Monday."
Spanish Banks Hiding Over $70 Billion In Bad Real Estate, El Confidencial Finds

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
No End in Sight, NATO Struggles to Sell Libya War
China eyes military ties with Greece
In Caracas, Armored Cars Are All the Rage
Chinese Navy Mission Reveals Secret Drone
Russia prepares for possible visit by North Korea's Kim

## Global unrest ##
Turkey police disperse pro-Kurdish protesters
Thousands march in Morocco over king's reforms
Protest Against Italy's High-Speed Rail Line Leaves Dozens Hurt
"Upset that a planned high-speed railroad line would disrupt their mountainous environment, around 2,000 demonstrators gathered late Sunday for a protest that erupted into violence early Monday."
Syrian critics vow peaceful uprising
Fed up of power failure, people take to streets

## Energy/resources ##
France to invest one billion euros in nuclear power
Protesters Demand French Nuclear Plant Closure
"Thousands of demonstrators formed a human chain outside France's oldest nuclear power plant on Sunday to demand the site be closed as the government mulls whether to extend its life by a decade."
Worldwide Nuclear Industry Woes Deepen
Releasing Oil From the SPR - A Desperate Economic Fix as QE2 Comes to an End? (Gail Tverberg)
New EIA report says shale gas boom could go global
Presents both pro and con views. -- RF
Kuwait''s crude oil exports to China jump 62.4 percent
Chinese company begins construction of 100,000 bpd oil field in southern Iraq
Tanzania slides into 12-hour power cuts
Sharjah fuel shortage to end before Ramadan
Experts link Gulf fuel crisis to lack of investments in refineries

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
One copper theft per week has been reported in Fort Worth

## Got food? ##
Starving plight of N Koreans revealed, even military is starving (video)
New burdens put pressure on global supply chain and prices

## Environment/health ##
Hong Kong Scarlet Fever Outbreak Spurs Drug-Resistance Fears

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
More Glitches Hit NYSE Euronext
Google gives user data to government in most cases
Palm Springs Power Outage Takes Down City's 911 System
The 10 worst cloud outages (and what we can learn from them)

## Japan ##
Who will pay for repair of aging street lights and electricity? (article in Japanese)
Kofu, capital of Yamanashi Prefecture, is left with a heavy bill for the repair of and power for aging street lights which declining shopping arcades can no longer maintain. The cash-strapped capital city is wondering how long this can continue.
Kansai Electric: Unsure If It Can Restart Maizuru No.1 Unit By Jul 1
"TOKYO (Dow Jones)--Kansai Electric Power Co. (9503.TO) said Monday it is unsure if it can restart by July 1 the 900-megawatt No.1 unit at its Maizuru coal-fired power station in western Japan, which has been offline since May 30 for unplanned maintenance.
"The outage of the big thermal power unit may worsen an expected power shortage in the Kansai area amid the continued suspension of the utility's nuclear power reactors."
Disposal of radioactive debris a headache for Fukushima Prefecture
"A lack of storage space and incinerators and fierce disagreements over final disposal sites--municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture face extreme difficulties in disposing of tsunami debris contaminated with radioactive material leaked by the crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant."
¥350 billion crisis loan eyed for Chubu Electric
Beyond Japan's Fukushima exclusion zone, shuttered shops speak to radiation doubts
Water recycling system at nuclear plant stops again
Kan creates 2 new cabinet posts; lists conditions for stepping down
More problems arise, new cabinet posts and bureaucracies are created to deal with them, complexity and energy flows increase: Here we can see the classic path toward inevitable collapse. -- RF
400 TEPCO shareholders submit anti-nuclear power motions
Dai-ichi Life hit over Tepco losses
Average pocket money for salarymen hits lowest in 3 decades
Nuclear shutdown threatens Japan's economic growth
Nippon Steel to raise Nissan steel prices by 15%

## China ##
China Local Debt Hit $1.65 Trillion in 2010
"China's local governments had amassed 10.7 trillion yuan ($1.65 trillion) of debt by the end of last year, Liu Jiayi, auditor general of the country's National Audit Office, said Monday. That's equal to more than a quarter of China's 2010 gross domestic product of 39.7983 trillion yuan."
China Auditor Finds Irregularities in $1.7 Trillion Local Government Debt
China Risks Being Next Property-Bubble Blow Up (WSJ)
"Now, he says a housing downturn could produce a 'major, major economic correction' in China, a view shared by other mainstream economists."
Is "major, major correction" economist-speak for "crash"? -- RF
China premier: Hard to keep inflation below 4%
Demolitions cause most social unrest
Why China's Heading for a Hard Landing, Part 1
China to lower petrol tariffs from July 1st

## UK ##
Elderly 'facing cuts to care despite promises'
NHS told to avoid 'slash and burn cuts'
Generals, admirals and air chief marshals face sack, Liam Fox warns
Cut, cut, cut. -- RF
War dead to be driven down side streets to avoid the public
Bank chief warns of wave of home repossessions if rates rise
Major disruption at schools as teachers go on strike
Flash flood warning issued following heatwave

## US ##
Threat of $100 Billion Hit if US Top Rating Lost
"Investors in the U.S. government bond market could face losses of up to $100 billion if the largest economy loses its triple A rating, according to a research arm of McGraw-Hill, the parent of Standard & Poor's."
Back-Up Generators Used At NE Nuclear Plant
Nuclear Catastrophe Imminent in Nebraska?
US nuclear evacuation plans haven't kept up with population
Family debt soars with second child
The American Police State is the 'New Normal'
The Next Mortgage Bombshell (Barron's)
"The private insurers that cover $700 billion of U.S. mortgages are facing an onslaught of foreclosures. The big three—MGIC, Radian, PMI—are at risk."
Housing can't recover if property taxes keep going up
Consumer Spending in U.S. Unexpectedly Stagnated in May as Prices Climbed
Fed Seen Buying $25 Billion a Month in Treasuries After QE2 Comes to End
Broke New Jersey Seeking $2.25 Billion Bridge Loan At Up To 9% From JPMorgan For Emergency Funding
Meredith Whitney has always been right. It's just a matter of time until munis crash and burn. -- RF
Minnesota government shutdown could hurt kids
Gas Prices: Down Lately, But Up 30% From 2010

Sunday, June 26, 2011


News Links, June 27, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Economist Charles Gave: The Euro Will Not Exist In One Year!
Ex-IMF chief: Emerging markets to dominate world, dollar to lose power
Pimco's El-Erian Says U.S. Debt Default Might Have 'Catastrophic' Effect
Inflation fears as India hikes fuel costs
Italy government tensions rise over austerity plans
Soros Says a Euro Exit Mechanism Is 'Probably Inevitable' Amid Debt Crisis
French Banks Said to Offer 70% Greek Government Debt Rollover
French Bank "Partial" 70% Greek Debt Rollover Proposal is Complete "Voluntary" Insanity
Greek rebel MPs may curb austerity reforms: deputy PM
Greek Deputy PM blasts euro exit talk as 'immense stupidity'
Overbuilding in Spain
Action needed on Dubai's stalled real estate
"Dubai must take action to decide the future of real estate projects that have halted in the wake of the financial crash, analysts said, as cash-poor developers stall to avoid refunding investors."
South Africa: Unemployment - Feel It, the Ticking Time Bomb is Here
Air traffic woes threaten Gulf aviation boom

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Sadr supporters ready for attacks on US troops
"NAJAF, Iraq (AFP) – Supporters of Shiite radical leader Moqtada al-Sadr have offered to carry out suicide attacks against US troops in Iraq, his office said Saturday, as a year-end deadline for a US pullout looms."
China, Vietnam agree to resolve maritime dispute
This might just be put on the back burner — to keep simmering — like the Shirakaba/Chunxiao gas field dispute between Japan and China.
New anti-China protest in Vietnam
"Almost 100 Vietnamese rallied in Hanoi on Sunday for a fourth consecutive weekend to protest against China's role in an escalating maritime row between the communist neighbors."
U.S., China broach South China Sea in Hawaii talks
S. Korea plans 5-day military exercise
European Union growing more divided
Wheelchair bomber attacks Iraqi police station
Hugo Chavez in 'critical' condition in Cuban hospital
Political unease mounting in Venezuela
Tripoli Running Out of Gas and Cash as Qaddafi Pins Hopes on NATO Schisms
Saudi visa curbs may hurt Arab states
Iran to Stage Missile Wargames

## Global unrest ##
Teen mob storms Chicago Walgreens
"Scores of teenagers stormed a Chicago Walgreens store on North Michigan Avenue, stealing bottled drinks and sandwiches en masse, police said."
Suspected flash mob rips off Upper Darby Sears
"They stole sneakers, socks, watches, whatever they could get their hands on, and left."
Two explosive devices found at Colo. mall
Chaos feared as Syria crisis nears bloody impasse
Syrian general: 1,300 soldiers, police killed by armed gangs
Egyptians stone police cars at former minister's trial
China's "conflict handbags"
Disruption in Syria brings fear Turkey could be drawn into border unrest

## Energy/resources ##
Peak Oil - the clear and present danger (TOD)
"Peak oil may threaten the global banking and financial system since the Ponzi scheme of growth based on credit expansion requires a growing stream of cheap energy to fuel the real economy."
The Facts About Fracking (A pro-fracking article from the WSJ)
Insiders Sound an Alarm Amid a Natural Gas Rush
"Natural gas companies have been placing enormous bets on the wells they are drilling, saying they will deliver big profits and provide a vast new source of energy for the United States.
"But the gas may not be as easy and cheap to extract from shale formations deep underground as the companies are saying, according to hundreds of industry e-mails and internal documents and an analysis of data from thousands of wells."...
"'The word in the world of independents is that the shale plays are just giant Ponzi schemes and the economics just do not work,' an analyst from IHS Drilling Data, an energy research company, wrote in an e-mail on Aug. 28, 2009."
China eyes Canada oil, US's energy nest egg
'Fuel price hike cripples transporters, economy of country'
"New Delhi, June 25 (IANS) The Delhi Transporters Association (DTA) Saturday protested the hike in price of diesel, saying that it will have a crippling effect on the truckers and transporters - and thus on the economy of the country."
Strategic petroleum reserves: The world's last 'swing producer' tries to save the economy
Dozens of countries queue up to go nuclear

## Got food? ##
WB moves to curb high food prices

## Environment/health ##
Cheap pesticide, costly harvest: Kids genetically poisoned in India (video)

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
LulzSec announces it is disbanding
The Internet War

## Japan ##
Japanese parents fume over Fukushima radiation impact
"Angry parents of children in Japan's Fukushima city marched along with hundreds of people on Sunday to demand protection for their children from radiation more than three months after a massive quake and tsunami triggered the worst nuclear disaster in 25 years."
Internal radiation exposure found in 15 people surveyed in Fukushima
Utilities Face 'Denuclearization' Motions As Shareholders Gather
METI goes on TV to pitch reactor restarts at Genkai
"The government took to the airwaves and Internet on Sunday to lobby residents of Saga Prefecture to let Kyushu Electric Power Co. restart the reactors at the Genkai nuclear power plant."
TEPCO plans layoffs to raise compensation funds
Japan Inc. turns a profit despite disaster
"The March 11 earthquake, at the end of fiscal 2010, hurt many businesses and pushed some into the red, but brisk business in the previous 11 months helped many crucial sectors to positive results."

## China ##
Storm drenches east China while drought plagues northwest
China to cut import VAT to boost coal import

## UK ##
UK farm exports to get boost in $1.6 bln UK-China deals

## US ##
The Incredible Comeback For The American Farmer
Flood wall fails at Fort Calhoun
U.S. Economy: Low Money Velocity Signals Troubles Ahead
Abandoned projects leave lasting reminder of economic crash (Las Vegas)

And finally... Brady Bunch mom got crabs in affair with NY mayor

Saturday, June 25, 2011


News Links, June 26, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Swiss Franc Climbs to Record High Versus Euro Amid Concern on Debt Crisis
Greece braces for the toughest week in its euro history
China Pledges Continued Support for European Debt
Silver-Coin Sales Booming at Perth Mint
Bankers agree on plan to increase capital buffers
Expect Chaos (Mish)
The end of Ponzi financing era in the United States and the World – When income, revenues, and swindles no longer support servicing debt. From California home owners, Greek bondholders, and Japanese zombie banks. (Dr. Housing Bubble)
Vietnam's inflation hits 16 percent in first half
Max Keiser And Sandeep Jaitly Explain Why Modern Economics Is "Rubbish"
Gasp! -- RF
UAE property prices set to slide further 10-20%
Oil Oozes Through Your Life

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Pakistani police station attacked
America's Worldwide Military Deployment
U.S., China Holding Talks on Rising Sea Tensions
Iran opens int'l anti-terrorism conference

## Global unrest ##
Protests go on as car bomb kills five in Yemen
Peru anti-mine protests continue
"Thousands of protesters opposed to mining and energy projects in southern Peru have taken over a commercial airport as the government struggled to restore calm a day after five died in a clash with police.
"Officials said that approximately 3,000 protesters had occupied the runway at the Juliaca airport in the region of Puno on Saturday. Several hundred police officers retreated to avoid another clash after weeks of protests over a controversial Canadian mining project."
Peru Cancels Mine After Police Kill 6 Protesters, Wound 30
Wimbledon is target of planned protest by Spanish activists
Syrian military 'moves into two villages'
Dozens march for freedom in Saudi Arabia: YouTube
"DUBAI, June 25, June 25, 2011 (Reuters) — Dozens of people wearing white shrouds have staged a peaceful march in the oil-producing region of eastern Saudi Arabia, demanding basic rights and the release of prisoners, according to a video posted on YouTube."
Greek Power Workers Ordered to Obey Court Order
"Greece's Energy Ministry called on the union at Public Power Corp SA (PPC) to abide by a court order directing the striking workers to bring a number of power units back online.
"The defiance of the order to the GENOP-DEH union to bring capacity back to June 23 levels is "creating a shortfall which places the stability of the system in a critical situation", the Athens-based ministry said in an e-maied statement. The shortage led to extended power cuts today and yesterday, when Public Power sought to have the strike declared illegal, according to the statement."

## Energy/resources ##
Iraq's biggest oil refinery closes after explosion
Contango Dooms Reason for Strategic Oil Release
Power-grid experiment could confuse electric clocks (US)
"Tweaking the power grid's frequency is expensive and takes a lot of effort, said Joe McClelland, head of electric reliability for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission."
Diesel, cooking gas price hike on cards in India
'Iran to export gasoline to Iraq'
Hydropower increase won't end electricity shortage (China)
Tanzania announces indefinite power outages
"Tanzania's state-run power company has announced daily 12-hour power cuts for an unspecified period because of low water levels at hydropower dams and a shortage of fuel for thermal power generation."
Among The Costs Of War: $20B In Air Conditioning
Crude oil prices witness surge amid uprising in MENA
OPEC will keep oil price above $90, says SocGen
Sharjah closes all ENOC fuel stations amid dispute

## Got food? ##
Food Price Volatility and Insecurity (CFR)
Costlier diesel to fuel food price rise (India)
Higher gasoline prices drive up cost of food 8 percent (US)

## Environment/health ##
For a real vacation, stay off Internet
Diabetes epidemic affecting 350m – and western fast food is to blame
Severe drought hits eastern Africa
"Ten killed in clashes over grazing and water and Red Cross says several have died of starvation in Kenya."

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
PBS website hacked again, some data taken
Must read: AP Enterprise: Pharmacy robberies sweeping US
"A wave of pharmacy robberies is sweeping the United States as desperate addicts and ruthless dealers turn to violence to feed the nation's growing hunger for narcotic painkillers.
"From Redmond, Wash., to St. Augustine, Fla., criminals are holding pharmacists at gunpoint and escaping with thousands of powerfully addictive pills that can sell for as much as $80 apiece on the street."
Anti-Virus Pioneer Evgeny Kaspersky: 'I Fear the Net Will Soon Become a War Zone'
"Evgeny Kaspersky is one of Russia's top Internet virus hunters and IT entrepreneurs. In a SPIEGEL interview, he discusses a raft of recent hacker attacks on multinationals, the 'total professionals' behind the Stuxnet virus and his fear of both personal and widespread cyber violence."

## Japan ##
TEPCO sees highest demand for power since March quake
"With increased power consumption mainly due to air-conditioning, peak demand was 91 percent of TEPCO's 47.9 million kilowatt capacity."
Pensioners to Aid Nuclear Plant Clean-Up on Worker Shortage
Nissan forecasts 15% drop in profit for this year
No pay rises for a third of Japanese professionals in 2011
Tax increase urged to pay for rebuilding
Fund launched to help rebuild auto supply chains
"Nobumoto said automakers may be unable to secure enough parts for their planned production increases, which are expected to go into high gear this autumn, 'depending on the supply of electricity.'"
Toyota considers operating plant on industry's designated holidays
"Toyota Motor Corp. is considering operating a factory on the auto industry's designated holidays, joining other leading automakers in exempting itself from a nonbinding agreement to stop plants on Thursdays and Fridays during summer to save electricity, company officials said Friday."
Disaster slows loan payments / Banks allow delays in more than 12,000 cases in Tohoku region

## China ##
China Banks Told to Cut Loans to Property Speculators
China to cut import tariffs on 33 commodities
"Import tariffs on gasoline and fuel oil will both be lowered to 1 percent from the previous 5 percent and 6 percent, respectively, while tariffs for diesel and aircraft fuel will be cut to zero, the ministry said in a statement on its website."
China's ticking time bomb
"The fast-growing economy is fueled by low-paid migrant workers who have watched others profit from their sweat. How much longer will they be willing to do it?"

## UK ##
New crackdown on militant unions
"Ministers are drawing up plans for a harsh new crackdown on unions to be brought in if this week's strikes over changes to public-sector pensions develop into a full-scale summer of discontent."
Treasury urges British banks to take big losses to help Greece avoid meltdown
Middle class face £35,000 bill to help pay for care in their old age
Why Chinese companies want to buy British businesses

## US ##
Millions of teens facing a jobless summer (video)
Tighter Lending Crimps Housing
Economists note a slowing U.S. recovery
It's not a "slowing recovery" any more than it's a "double dip." It's just a continuation of the overall downward trend toward collapse. -- RF
Commercial real estate follows home values. Down.
State and local government s should be listed as a primary risk to the US outlook
Forecasts for Growth Drop, Some Sharply (NYT via CNBC)
"A drumbeat of disappointing data about consumer behavior, factory sales and weak hiring in recent weeks has prompted economists to ratchet down their 2011 economic forecasts to as little as half what they expected at the beginning of the year."
Austerity Is Already Here, and It's Killing the Recovery
The desert heat melts Arizona home prices
Many drugs in short supply at hospitals, pharmacies
Rising price of fuel not the only reason for food-cost increases

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