Monday, June 13, 2011


News Links, June 14, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Greece's Debt Rating Slashed, Making It World's Lowest
Greek Parliament Preparing Evacuation Tunnel Ahead Of Wednesday Vote On IMF Bailout, General Strike And Parliamentary Blockade
Daily Austerity Watch: Greek Prime Minister Is At The End Of His Rope
US Is in Even Worse Shape Financially Than Greece: Gross
"When adding in all of the money owed to cover future liabilities in entitlement programs the US is actually in worse financial shape than Greece and other debt-laden European countries, Pimco's Bill Gross told CNBC Monday."
Foreign Investors Are Getting Destroyed In China
Arab Spring Leaves Egypt In An Economic Slump
"Following the revolution that ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year, the country's economy is sagging — tourism has plummeted, unemployment is soaring and poverty is spreading."
The Risk Of Chinese Hard Landing Is On The Rise
Europe's 'Last Dictator' Must Choose IMF Aid or Control of Belarus Economy
The Derivatives Pressure Cooker (Automatic Earth)
As Greece Prepares To Auction Off The Acropolis, Austria Is Selling Its Mountains
Allied Irish Banks 'default' triggers cash payouts
Electrolux to raise prices as its costs rise
Canada Post Strike Expands To 10 Cities In Seven Provinces As Weekend Talks Fail To Produce Settlement
Getting their fair share: The rise of the barter market

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Vietnam in live-fire drill amid South China Sea row
Flashpoint: South China Sea
US Navy intercepts North Korean 'missile carrier'
Secret US and Afghanistan talks could see troops stay for decades
Saudi Arabia Prepares for a Crude Oil War (Taipan Daily)

## Global unrest ##
Police use tear gas to quell riot in southern China
"Riot police fired tear gas to disperse rampaging migrant workers in southern China protesting over the mistreatment of a pregnant street hawker by security guards, media reports said on Monday, the latest in a series of protests across the country."
Unrest Continues to Rock Chinese Town
China Cracks Down on Local Officials After Regions Struck by Riots, Bombs (Bloomberg)
"Last year China spent more on domestic security than it did on national defense, according to the Finance Ministry. The increase in police spending comes as so-called mass incidents, which include protests, riots and strikes, doubled in five years to 180,000 last year, according to Sun Liping, a professor of sociology at Beijing's Tsinghua University."
Syria: hundreds flee scorched earth tactics of Assad regime
Syria may be next for revolution – in the hearts of soldiers
"When soldiers refused to shoot protesters in Egypt and Tunisia, the revolution began. Now reports of mutiny in Syria suggest the Assad regime's crackdown has gone too far."
5,534 Saudi govt officials face criminal charges

## Energy/resources ##
Venezuela to Restrict Electricity Use for Second Straight Year on Blackout
Venezuela to Boost Power Tariffs as Much as 200% After Blackout Strikes
Petrol shortage rumbles on without explanation (UAE)
Blackout looms as power supply drops by 600mw (Nigeria)
Kenya airport hit by another blackout
Fuel shortage may mean power cuts, residents fear (UAE)
"SHARJAH // Fuel shortages in the Northern Emirates may begin to affect power supplied by diesel generators as the summer heat boosts demand, residents fear."
Power generation target missed due to coal shortages (India)
Coal shortage: Multiple failures (India)
"As many as 28 coal-fired power plants across the country are in a critical state with coal stock of less than seven days. Of the 28 power stations, 14 are in a super critical state with coal stock of less than four days, according to the latest report compiled by the Central Electricity Authority, or CEA. More than 54 per cent of India's power generation capacity is powered by coal."
Because coal isn't getting any easier to dig, it's a safe bet that India will never have enough. Once that is assumed, anyone can foresee the catastrophic end of India's current development model. -- RF
India, Nepal plan power grid to tap region's riches
"The two countries will meet later this month to finalise a deal in which India will export electricity to Nepal over 140 kilometres of new power lines. In return, Nepal will construct power plants and eventually send its surplus electricity to India."
This has about as much chance of happening as Japan's maglev plan. -- RF
Water-rationing exercise in Singapore
Drought Threatens Texas Oil Boom
"The worst Texas drought since record-keeping began 116 years ago may crimp an oil and natural- gas drilling boom as government officials ration water supplies crucial to energy exploration."
Berlusconi's nuclear power plans crushed
Rebels: Libyan oil 'cannibalized' by war
"Oil fields in Libya were 'cannibalized' by war, making it nearly impossible for exports from the war-torn country to resume this year, a rebel leader said."
JPM Sees Incremental Saudi Crude Supply Offset By Declines In Iraq, Iran Production
Saudi Electricity gets $13.6bn loan from gov't
Saudi Arabia to Produce 10mbd in July?
Ireland sees gas price rise and warns of higher electricity prices

## Got food? ##
Locusts destroying crops in Russia
"Locust swarms are devouring crops in the Astrakhan region in Russia, causing officials to declare a state of emergency for the area."
Funds Boost Bullish Agriculture Bets for Third Week as Crops May Decline
"Funds increased bullish bets on agriculture prices for a third straight week, the longest string of gains this year, as adverse global weather harmed crops from China to Texas."
Ethiopia's Annual Inflation Rate Increased to 34.7% in May on Food Prices
Wheat Rises as Rains May be Too Late to Prevent U.S., France Yield Losses
Farming Needs 'Major Shift' as Food System Fails, UN Farming Agency Says
"World farming needs a "major shift" to more sustainable practices as intensive crop production since the 1960s has degraded soils, depleted ground water and caused pest outbreaks, the United Nations said."

## Environment/health ##
Drought-hit China to divert Brahmaputra?
E. coli death rate growing in Germany
French lawmakers introduce bill that would ban hydraulic fracturing

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Hundreds of New Cyber Weapons Could Be Aimed at U.S. Military Smartphones
Spanish police website hit by Anonymous hackers
Senate set to investigate hacking claim

## Japan ##
'100000 tons of toxic water still inside Fukushima a huge problem'
Video interview with Shaun Burnie, UK independent nuclear energy consultant
"The nuclear energy industry was already on its last legs before Fukushima."
River of debt may burst its banks (Sydney Morning Herald)
"Earlier this month, the People's Bank of China finally gave the world a glimpse of what the country's post-financial crisis economy is constructed on. It is built upon 10,000 local government investment platforms which, in turn, are floating on unsustainable rivers of credit."
7,000 Northeast Residents Without Power In 95 Degree Temps (El Paso)
Adapt Or Die: Some Jobs Are Never Coming Back
School lunch prices will rise this fall for some
What a US default, downgrade might look like
Obama Pledges $250 Million to Upgrade Aging U.S. Electric Grid
Investors withdraw a net $3B from stock funds in May, snapping 4-month positive streak
"Many [states] face massive liabilities for years to come. Budget and other fiscal data compiled by the AP show that across the 50 states, the $734 billion in cumulative revenue available for the coming fiscal year has dropped by about $34 billion, or 5 percent, from the 2007-08 fiscal year, when the recession began.
"Some states are in far worse shape. New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Illinois and Louisiana reported deficits that are more than 20 percent of their state's general fund."
Give it a rest, Bill. -- RF

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