Sunday, June 19, 2011


News Links, June 19-20, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Greek debt crisis: George Papandreou in emergency talks for more EU money
Europe May Withhold Half of Greek Payment
Greek PM warns against 'catastrophic' default
Bond Market Rejects Greek Solution Already
Greek Default Would Spell 'Havoc' for Banks a Year After Bailout
Turkey Increases Costs to Banks of Consumer Lending to Curb Loan Growth
How China Could Yet Fail Like Japan (Financial Times)
"Until 1990, Japan was the most successful large economy in the world. Almost nobody predicted what would happen to it in the succeeding decades. Today, people are yet more in awe of the achievements of China. Is it conceivable that this colossus could learn that spectacular success is a precursor of surprising failure? The answer is: yes."
Global economic slowdown a plague on high tech (Forbes)
This is a good read. Here you can see one aspect of collapse in action. -- RF
After Dumping 30% Of Its Treasury Holdings In Half A Year, Russia Warns It Will Continue Selling US Debt
Cosatu says South Africa's youth live in terrible conditions

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Israel Launches Major Home Front Defense Drill
"Israel on June 19 launched a major five-day home front defense exercise intended to prepare its population and emergency services to respond to massive missile attacks, the Israeli military said."
Karzai Says U.S. In Peace Talks With Taliban
Chinese workers flee Myanmar fighting: report
U.N. sounds Japan out about ground force dispatch to Southern Sudan
China to encourage better local relations in Zimbabwe
"China has sent a special delegation to Zimbabwe to encourage better relations between its countrymen and the locals after reports of inhumane treatment and underpayment by the 'new colonial master.'"
India Military Delegation Arrives in China
Weakened al-Qaida May Speed U.S. Withdrawal: Report
"Drone strikes and covert operations have weakened Afghanistan's Al-Qaida network and could justify a White House decision to withdraw troops quicker than planned."
Some kind of excuse is needed. -- RF
Filipinos Protest Chinese Military Incursions in South China Sea
Vietnamese Protest China as Tensions Rise

## Global unrest ##
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest (AP)
Tension high after riots in Xintang, China
Unease in 'Happy Guangdong'
Athens protests: Syntagma Square on frontline of European austerity protests
Spain: Madrid 'Euro-pact' protesters take to streets
"Tens of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets of Madrid and other Spanish cities in a mass march against austerity measures, social spending cuts and unemployment."
'A Historical Moment': The Saudi Women Challenging A Government By Driving
Thousands protest in Morocco for more reform

## Energy/resources ##
Venezuela buys power from Colombia amid blackouts
Electricity shortfall reaches 4,760 megawatt (Pakistan)
Circular debt leads to crude oil shortage , power crises can increase by 1500 MW (Pakistan)
"Almost five power generation including companies including independent power generation companies (IPPs) and rental power projects (RPPs) find difficult to continue their operation in Pakistan due to acute shortage of furnace oil due to which the power crises would be further intensified."
Mini Nuclear Reactors: TVA Signs Letter Of Intent To Build First In U.S.
"The cost and who will pay it are not known."
High Hopes — And Hurdles — For Hydrogen Cars
Obama Team Loses Faith in Hydrogen Fuel
Blackouts mainly due to power theft, says Eskom (South Africa)
Taming the waters of Tajikistan

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copper thieves damage electrical infrastructure (Oman)

## Got food? ##
China food prices spike as floods ruin farmland
Higher food prices to squeeze US restaurant industry
Corn Stocks Plunging to 1974 Low as China Adds Brazil-Sized Crop to Demand (Bloomberg)
"Even a fifth consecutive year of record global corn harvests will fail to meet demand for food, fuel and livestock feed, reducing world stockpiles to the lowest in two generations."

## Environment/health ##
French find cesium in Japanese tea
'Hypersonic' jet to travel from Paris to Tokyo in two-and-a-half hours
"Plans are to be unveiled on Monday for a "hypersonic" jet that flies twice the speed of Concorde on biofuel made from seaweed, taking less than two and a half hours to travel from Paris to Tokyo."
Get a horse. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Computer outage delays United flights nationwide
United Airlines Computer Glitch Strands Thousands (PHOTOS)
Pakistanis tip off militants at bomb-building plants
Sega hacked in latest cyberattack
NSA allies with Internet carriers to thwart cyber attacks against defense firms

## Japan ##
Honda to pull out of auto industry's summertime power-saving accord
"Honda Motor Co. will withdraw from a nonbinding power-saving agreement in Japan's automobile industry and open some of its plants on Thursdays this summer to raise operation rates, a company official said Saturday.
"The official said the decision is "inevitable" as the manufacturing of components has been unable to catch up with demand after March's earthquake and tsunami and its plan to churn out vehicles would be affected otherwise."
More radioactive water pooling at Fukushima plant
Disaster shines light on wisdom of renting in a debt-laden world
Includes some interesting facts on the current and still-to-come economic impacts of the disaster. -- RF
Food exporters' anxiety grows
TEPCO workers 'frantic' over vents
"Workers at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant tried frantically to open the vents of a reactor containment vessel to prevent an explosion in the hours after the March 11 tsunami, but high radiation levels and confusion in the central control room hampered their efforts, according to a report by the plant's operator."

## China ##
Power shortage hits offices, malls in Shanghai
China Home Prices Rise in 67 Cities, Defying Curbs
Downpours damage farmland, inflate food prices
Chinese activists harness Twitter to campaign in elections
"Grassroots democracy activists in China are challenging the ruling Communist Party in unprecedented numbers by harnessing Twitter and other online social media tools to campaign in elections."
China's Bank Reckoning Approaches (WSJ)
"A large part of China's economic miracle was built on ill-considered lending and accounting sleight-of-hand."

## UK ##
Warning over Scotland's public sector jobs
"More than 50,000 of Scotland's public service jobs can be expected to go in the next four years, according to a leading economic forecast."
Questions over number of councils in Wales
George Osborne plots £7bn pensions 'raid' on better off
State pension age change for women to go ahead
"The Government says it intends to press ahead with its timetable to raise the state pension age for women despite the threat of a revolt by Conservative and Liberal Democrat backbenchers."
Libya action may cost UK 'hundreds of millions'

## US ##
El Paso Electric: Outages increase with electrical use in summer months
More water released into swollen Missouri River
"There's also the prospect of flooded fields in five states that will keep farmers from planting some crops and harvesting others. Highways covered with river water will be as much a headache for drivers as the cash-strapped state and counties that must pay to fix them. Barge operators — and those who rely on them — face big losses if the river remains closed to navigation."
Car-oriented Michigan embraces mopeds
Bin Laden "Halo Effect" Vanishes; U.S. Economic Confidence Plunges in Early June; Expectations Worsening
States look to Internet taxes to close budget gaps
Frustrations Build After U.S. Airways Power Outage
Cooper Nuclear Station declares "Notification of Unusual Event"

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