Friday, June 17, 2011


News Links, June 18, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Default by Greece 'Almost Certain': Greenspan
Greek PM dumps finance chief in bid to survive
Germany retreats from battle over Greek bailout
Greek Math: €12 Billion In, €18.2 Billion Out... And That's IF The Impossible Happens
IMF "Ready and Willing" to Throw Away More Money; 10 Point Summary of Sorry State of Affairs (Mish)
Moody's: Italy's Rating May Be Downgraded
Afghanistan facing insolvency within a month, say officials
IMF Cuts US Growth Forecast, Warns of Crisis
"The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for U.S. economic growth Friday and warned Washington and debt-ridden European countries that they are "playing with fire" unless they take immediate steps to reduce their budget deficits."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Russia and China team up against NATO Libya campaign
Argentinian president ridicules Cameron over Falklands
Israel hits $7.2 billion in arms exports
Mexican teenage girls train as drug cartel killers
Philippines Sends Ship To Disputed Waters
"The Philippines said June 17 it would send its aging navy flagship into disputed South China Sea waters amid rising tensions with Beijing over their competing claims."
American Wars Will Be Increasingly Secret

## Global unrest ##
Saudi women defy driving ban
Syria unrest: Deadly fresh protests erupt
"Fresh demonstrations against President Bashar al-Assad's regime have erupted across Syria, with reports of at least 18 people killed by security forces."
Electricity shortages drive Nigerians to the streets
"Guest blogger Alex Thurston writes that economic grievances are likely to galvanize protests in several sub-Saharan African countries this year, as they are right now in Nigeria."

## Energy/resources ##
High Costs Seen Hampering Use Of Algae As Biofuel
"The cost of farming algae as a biofuel must be cut by about 90 percent if it is to become commercially viable and reduce pressure on food prices, according to research by Dutch scientists."
Australia Power Industry Fears "Even Worse" Carbon Plan
"Australia's power industry has voiced fears the government could hatch a new carbon-reduction plan that is even worse for generators than its first proposal, which had sparked warnings of bankruptcies, shutdowns and electricity market chaos."
Is the Party Over for Australia's Mining Plays?
Norway has biggest drop in oil production
U.S. pullout exposes Iraq's oil industry
Kazakhstan's Uranium Industry Could Lose Its Luster
Solar Storm Threatening Power Grids – Yet no Action Taken to Implement Defences
Rare Earth Metal Prices Go Parabolic
Russian Oil Company Lukoil Seeks Re-Entry to Iraq
Rising power cost to support steel long futures
"Steel market fundamentals remain to be grim, with demand falling continuously. Reports showed the demand from Vietnam dropped around 40 percent, but prices of steel are still elevated due to the rising costs of power."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Flag poles victim to metal thieves
PG&E sees surge in copper wire theft in Antioch area
"Pacific Gas & Electric workers were shocked this month to find one of the utility's 45-foot wood poles along the railroad tracks chopped to the ground in what officials say is the most brazen local case to date of copper thieves targeting PG&E property."
Copper theft results in blackout

## Got food? ##
New plant disease linked to GM crops and pesticides
U.N.: Agriculture commodity price to remain high
SciAm op-ed: Kill biofuels to solve the food crisis
China Adds Argentina's Farmlands to Commodities Shopping List
Food prices mean trouble for poor and politicians
OECD: Meat Prices Expected to Jump 30% in Coming Decade

## Environment/health ##
U.S. gas is artificially cheap: What we don't pay for at the pump

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Is cyber crisis the new normal?
Review: Reinventing Collapse – Revised and Updated by Dmitry Orlov

## Japan ##
Japan Plans To Move Pregnant Women From Far-Flung Radiation
Japan plant starts clean-up of radioactive water
Indonesia leader talks ties, South China Sea tensions
43 condenser pipes damaged at Shizuoka nuke plant
Japan's Decline as a Robotics Superpower: Lessons From Fukushima
Itochu buys 20% of rights to coal mines in Colombia
A Dimmer Tokyo (CFR blog)
"I arrived in Tokyo several days ago, and was immediately struck by both the mood and the changes visible in the city itself. The hotels are nearly empty, elevators are turned off, and lighting everywhere is dimmer. Quite literally, Tokyo's sparkle has been muted in an effort to conserve energy."
Tokyo's Edogawa Ward sets 20% power conservation target (link in Japanese)
Ward office buildings will ban air conditioning in conference rooms, relying on fans only (there are going to be a lot of sweaty people). Fluorescent tubes removed from half of fixtures. 80% of lights doused around station, and about two-thirds of other streetlights turned off.

## China ##
Torrential Rains Batter Parts Of China, Floods Spread
Consumers Fade in China Economy Racked by Inflation With 'Peak Days' Gone
Ice-Nine Spreads To Shanghai: Chinese Interbank Liquidity Evaporates

## UK ##
Planned public sector pension changes to be outlined
Union fury at pensions 'bomb'
"Union leaders threatened to walk away from talks over pensions reform today after the Government detailed plans to require most public sector employees to work longer and pay more for less generous entitlements in retirement."
Quarter of high streets 'failing'
Spiralling rents hit new record high

## US ##
Accelerating Inflation Spurs Consumer 'Trade Down' to McDonald's, Wal-Mart
Toyota says US output to fully recover by September
Cost of wars to cities highlighted at mayors meeting
Blind Eye In The Sky: Weather Satellites Lose Funding
Miami-Dade unemployment rate rises to 13.4 percent
How Miserable? Index Says the Worst in 28 Years
AARP Backs Long-Term Social Security Cuts
Regulators shut down small banks in Georgia, Florida; makes 47 US bank failures this year
Is the U.S. Effectively in Default Already? (The Atlantic)
Avoid investing in airlines, trains and cars
How to fix crumbling U.S. roads, rails and airways
"Analysts are pessimistic about the U.S. transportation system making progress. There isn't enough money to maintain what the country has right now, much less to get to quality levels that are giving other nations a competitive advantage."
Midwest Floods: Both Nebraska Nuke Stations Threatened

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