Friday, June 24, 2011


News Links, June 25, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Fitch: Australia, Korea Banks Most Exposed to Europe
End of Money Printing Not Priced Into Market: Analyst
Russia May Face Debt Crisis Like Greece
Italy bank shares dive on credit rating alert
"Shares in leading Italian banks fell sharply after the credit ratings agency Moody's said it may downgrade their status."
Why Austerity Doesn't Matter: Greece Is Still Going to Default
The PIIGS' $616 Billion Time Bomb (And Other Fun Stats)
Why The Eurozone And The Euro Are Both Doomed
Libya war cuts financial lifeline for Ghana
"Thousands of Ghanaian migrant workers have fled the fighting, leaving them without jobs and straining Ghana's remittance-dependent economy."
Electric-vehicle maker Think files for bankruptcy in Norway
World's rich richer than ever; wealth growth beats GDP avgs
"The rich get richer. In fact, despite economic crisis, recessions and slowdowns, the incomes of the planet's high net worth individuals rose more last year in percentage terms than the world's GDP."
What's Really Driving House Prices In Canada? The Must-See Graph Of The Day...

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
US ready to arm Philippines against rise of China
"The United States has announced it is ready to provide hardware to modernise the military of the Philippines, which as vowed to "stand up to any aggressive action" amid rising tension at sea with China."
Philippines, U.S. to hold navy drills near disputed waters
"The United States and the Philippines will begin 11 days of maritime security exercises near disputed waters in the South China Sea next week, with the Philippines buoyed by a renewed U.S. pledge of support in boosting its military capabilities."
Piracy insurance costs $120M
Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea: Nigerian Navy Chief of Staff to Discuss Strategy
Anarchy at Sea: A Voyage through Pirate-Infested Waters
Mexico Replaces Police With Soldiers In Border Area
Japan protests incursion of Chinese ship
For Companies, Risk of Cargo Theft in Asia
US calls for cooperation to secure global supply chain

## Global unrest ##
Vietnam's Labor Unrest (BusinessWeek)
"Vietnam had 336 strikes in the first four months of 2011, according to its General Confederation of Labor: That's on course to beat the 2008 record of 762. Many are wildcat stoppages, which lack legal authorization, according to the Geneva-based International Labor Organization. 'Every day, somewhere in the country there is a strike,' says Youngmo Yoon, a Vietnam labor specialist for the ILO. Average wages should rise 12 percent this year."
China unrest becoming commonplace (China Post)
"For Chinese officials, keeping the peace of late has been rather like the popular arcade game of 'whack a mole.' After a protest is put down at one place, another pops up elsewhere."
Over 4,000 workers on strike in S.China: report
"More than 4,000 workers at the Simone handbag factory in Guangzhou -- an area struck by migrant unrest in recent weeks -- are protesting against what they say is a 'harsh working environment', the South China Morning Post said on Thursday."
Eight killed as Syrians dismiss President Assad's belated reform offers
Palestinians use bulldozer to ram Israeli fence
Thousands of protesters under KMSS assembled at Dispur (India)
Explosions rock Myanmar's capital, two other towns

## Energy/resources ##
Oil Rises on Concern IEA Emergency Crude Release May Limit Future Supplies
Sudan pipeline threat could spark oil war
Refinery outage brings shortage of gasoline and diesel (SKorea)
Asia moves to tap oil reserves
Norway government orders Statoil to wring more oil out of old fields
Iraq struggles to boost oil production
"RUMAILA OIL FIELD, Iraq — Here in Iraq's southern desert, efforts to boost oil production have pushed the country's dilapidated oil infrastructure to the brink.
"Rusted pipelines are running full and are in danger of rupturing on the floor of the Persian Gulf. Rickety pumps seize and spring leaks in the heat. The entire network meant to get oil from fields to tankers is maxed out and prone to backups that cause permanent damage to wells."
Belarus will cede total control of its gas pipelines to Russia for $2.5 billion
Indian Utilities' May Coal Imports Climb 43%, India Coal Says
Russia's Grip on Gas
"Russia loves being in control of other countries' energy needs. The nation supplies a quarter of the natural gas consumed in Europe, owns 40% of the world's uranium enrichment capacity, and rivals Saudi Arabia for the top spot on the list of global oil exporters."

## Got food? ##
FAO trims global crop forecast, says prices to stay higher
Coffee prices nearly double, with no relief in sight
"Coffee prices are up because of rising demand, higher fuel costs. High coffee prices has roasters, retailers struggling to cover costs."
Pasta Price May Jump as North Dakota Durum Floods Boost Campbell's Costs

## Environment/health ##
13-fold increase in scarlet fever cases in Shanghai
Florida says drought expanding

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Global hacking group breaks into Arizona DPS network
Instapaper Server, Including Data and Codebase, Seized by FBI in an Unrelated Raid
China and Britain locked in cyber war
What's with all these $#@& data breaches?
Swarm robbery season upon us, police warn (Canada)
Electronic Arts' BioWare unit hacked

## Japan ##
Jellyfish back off at Japan nuclear power plant
"The jellyfish managed to block the cooling system at one reactor at the Shimane plant on Thursday, prompting the operator to lower its generation capacity by 6 percent."
3 Major Banks To Supply Y250bn To Chubu Electric
"Chubu Electric plans to use the money to purchase crude oil and repair fossil fuel power plants."
Special report: Japan's "throwaway" nuclear workers (Reuters)
Japan government must ensure stable oil supply: PAJ president
Drone Airplane Crashes Into Roof Of Damaged Fukushima Reactor #2
Tepco pensions may be tapped for redress
Japan Tepco to double Jul oil purchase from Jun on higher power demand
"Japan's Tokyo Electric Power Company expects to double its crude and fuel oil purchases month-on-month in July to 520,000 kiloliters (3.27 million barrels or 106,000 b/d), as the country starts its summer power demand season, a source close to the matter said Thursday."
Saitama's Kumagaya sees 39.8 C as heatwave covers Japan
Tepco Power Demand Crunch: 92% and Rising?
"As Japan implements ever-more-inventive solutions to try to save energy in a post-March 11 world of damaged and closed nuclear plants, it's disconcerting to think the grid might be only 8% off complete saturation before Japan's really hot summer months begin."
Vending machines try to keep cool under pressure
"As businesses hurry to put energy-saving plans in place as a government power-cut mandate for summer looms, operators of vending machines--criticized as major electricity hogs--are setting the machines' cooling functions to switch off on a rotating basis."
Rebuilding to cost ¥16.9 trillion

## China ##
Christmas Gloom for China Toymakers as Orders Shrivel
"After wrenching change that saw hundreds of toy factories in China shut down in the 2008 financial crisis, hopes were high for a rebound. But Europe's debt crisis and a sluggish U.S. economic recovery are curbing Western demand, while cost and labour pressures within China are mounting."
China Formally Working With IMF To Avoid Eurozone Restructuring
Recent rains boost hydropower plants but China still faces shortages
China construction boom may be stalling: SocGen
"China's construction boom could be stalling out, according to Societe Generale, which sounded a warning Friday that recent softening in demand for cement and earth-moving equipment could be an early warning of a looming downturn."

## UK ##
No British cash to bail out Greece, says David Cameron
Eurozone crisis 'UK's biggest risk'
"Despite the limited direct exposure of UK banks to debt in beleaguered countries such as Greece, the impact on nations such as Germany and France would have a knock-on effect and lead to a tightening of bank funding conditions."
£10bn 'black hole' means new defence cuts loom
"More British Service personnel, aircraft and warships could be cut because of a new multi-billion pound black hole uncovered in the defence budget."

## US ##
Per Household Annual Deficit Exceeds US Income
"The official story is that total US government debt has nearly reached the Gross Domestic Product of the United States. However, it's worth noting that this total is based upon governmental accounting, the use of which would quickly put an ordinary citizen into jail for fraud if they tried to use such a standard for private business purposes."
Republicans Walk Out on Budget Talks, Default Looms
Abandoned homes multiply in Englewood, and crime follows
Foreclosed Homes Wait In 'Shadows' To Go On Sale
Calif. 'dust-bowl': Real danger or a mirage?
"'I've never had to fight for water like I had in the past five years,' farmer says."
As debt talks break down, clock ticks toward crisis
Dow Drops Seventh Time in Eight Weeks
Parts of Nebraska Nuclear Facility Already Under 2 Feet of Water ... But - So Far - Emergency Flood Walls Are Protecting Electrical Equipment
Regulators shut small Georgia bank; 48th in 2011
My degree isn't worth the debt!

And finally... Japan's newest popstar outed as CGI creation

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