Thursday, June 02, 2011


News Links, June 3, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
EU, IMF Wind Up Greek Economy Review as Officials Prepare Second Bailout
Will Germany and France Break Up the Euro Currency?
SPDR Gold Trust Thrives as Economy Fears Mount
Australia faces housing 'affordability crisis'
Rising mortgage arrears a worry: ANZ
Brazil's Industrial Output Fell By Most Since 2008, Surprising Economists
China Lending-Binge Hangover Looms in 2013
Vinashin Asks Bondholders to Write Off 90% of Debt After Default in April
"Vietnam Shipbuilding Industry Group, the state-owned company with more than $4 billion of debt, asked holders of a local-currency bond it defaulted on in April to write off as much as 90 percent of the money owed, according to a bondholder who met with company officials in Hanoi last week."
Moody's May Cut U.S. If No Debt Limit Progress
Saudi tops world for super-rich households

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Iran Sanctions Should Be Eased to Foster Nuclear Cooperation, Russia Says
Russia Snubs India; Cancels Navy, Army War Games
Russia Warns U.S., NATO Against Military Aid to Syria Protests After Libya
Special report: If Monterrey falls, Mexico falls (Reuters)
Syria: Attack on central town of Rastan 'kills 15'
Mexican teens turn to kidnapping in drug war city
"School dropout Toby was just 15 when he and his friends started kidnapping businessmen, truck drivers and lawyers for ransom in Mexico's most violent city, Ciudad Juarez."
E. Coli Outbreak Sparks Political Tension In Europe
Global war on drugs a failure, high-level panel says

## Global unrest ##
Europe's Crisis Stirs Unrest on Its Eastern Edge
Greek union to stage anti-austerity strikes in June
The Spanish are having their own Arab Spring
Security forces attack Bahraini protesters (Al Jazeera)
"Bahraini troops attack anti-government protesters in villages near the capital, hours after martial law is lifted."
Farmers continue protests in Serbia

## Energy/resources ##
OPEC to Resist Calls to Aid Recovery With More Oil
Europe's drought may bring power cuts
"River levels may cause nuclear reactors to go offline, while dry weather in northern and eastern Europe will raise food prices."
China looks to imports for power shortfall
"'This year will be the toughest for electricity supply in China,' said SGCC Deputy General Manager Shuai Junqing, adding that he expects the situation to become 'even worse' over the next two years."
CEA projects 10% power generation shortfall in this fiscal (India)
Mexico's Pemex sues U.S. firms over fuel smuggling
"Mexico's state-run oil company Pemex is suing 11 U.S. companies for buying up to $300 million of fuel stolen by drug gangs and smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border, court documents showed."
Chinese Economic Slowdown May Lead to 75% Plunge in Commodities, S&P Says
The Coming Oil Crisis: Crude "Almost Certain" to Hit $150 in Coming Year, Kent Moors Says
Unless a crash comes first. -- RF
Some petrol stations run out of fuel (UAE)

## Got food? ##
Rice Soaring 50% in Thailand as Thaksin Seeks Votes in World's Top Shipper
"Thai rice prices, a benchmark for Asia, may jump 50 percent by the end of the year under a plan by the party favored to win the July 3 election to buy the grain directly from farmers, according to millers and traders."

## Environment/health ##
German cucumber E.coli outbreak 'may last months'
Outbreak is new form of E. coli
Female Fish Develop "Testes" in Gulf Dead Zone
Decades of antibiotics in farm animals lead to deadly superbugs

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
America's Creeping Police State
Sony network attacked again
Targeted cyber attacks an 'epidemic'
"The targeted attack used by hackers to compromise e-mail accounts of top US officials is reaching 'epidemic' proportions, say security experts."
Google Gmail cyber attack: 'Chinese spies had months of access'
Cyber Attack: Hackers Stole Classified Information From Canadian Government
South Africa moves ahead with bill to limit freedom of information

## Japan ##
Japanese Energy Strategy: Hawaiian Shirts
Tsunami Zone Residents Scorn Tokyo Jockeying
Yet another story about how bloated, complex governments have degenerated into effete bureaucracies and packs of squabbling politicos. -- RF
O-157 strain of E. coli detected in food poisoning case in Toyama
Japan closer to doubling sales tax amid fiscal woes
Bank of Japan and Analysts on Japan Tsunami Economic Impact

## China ##
Aluminium processors in China asked to brace power cuts
Plan for coal stocks to ease supply woes
"BATTLING its worst power shortages in years, China will select qualified coal and power producers to help build emergency coal stockpiles in a bid to ease supply disruptions."
China to increase energy imports
"China will tackle an impending power shortfall by increasing energy imports, said the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the top economic planner, on Wednesday."
China takes steps to fend off another power, diesel 'perfect storm'
Tianjin grid operator warns of power shortage, says UHV lines a solution
"Electricity shortfalls in Tianjin, an industrial city near Beijing, may reach 1.5 gigawatts this summer, or 13 percent of the expected maximum power load, local grid operator warned on Thursday."
China Local-Government Debt Risk Needs 'Attention,' Bank of China Says
Zhejiang city down to 1 month of water
Chinese Banks Build Yuan Deposit Hoard in Hong Kong

## UK ##
Killer E.coli strain infects first victims in Britain
"The deadly new strain of E.coli that has killed 18 people in Europe risks spreading from person to person in Britain, the Health Protection Agency warned last night."
Road congestion falls as motorists leave cars at home amid soaring fuel prices

## US ##
Treasury Continues To Dip Into Retirement Accounts, Prepares To "Take Out" $66 Billion Chunk To Make Room For New Bond Issuance
The looting of pension funds — public and private — won't stop until everything is gone. -- RF
Third Time's a Charm? Whispers of QE3 Emerge
Moody's Puts BofA, Wells Fargo And Citi On Downgrade Review: Cites Risk Of No Government Support, Mortgage Exposure As Risks
Protesters plan more dancing despite cops' orders
"They were arrested, slammed to the ground and choked last weekend. But protesters opposed to a federal judge's ruling that bans dancing inside the Thomas Jefferson Memorial in D.C. aren't backing down."
Tiny Towns May Be an Endangered Species
"Several states facing budget shortfalls are offering incentives for townships to share services or even merge"
A few years ago Japan had a national wave of such consolidations. And now it's come to the US. -- RF
Power Outages Force Feds to Close
"Crews have been working non-stop since the equipment was damaged on Tuesday. Outages caused the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to close."
Today's irony: Power outage closes FERC offices
"The federal agency responsible for maintaining grid reliability across the U.S. remains shut because of a power outage that hit northern parts of Washington, D.C. on Tuesday afternoon."
Washington struggles with third day of power outages
Power outage hits Minneapolis airport
Massive power outage in region (Illinois)
Midwest Towns, Farmers Brace For Summer Floods
Gigantic Chunk Of Railroad Track Stolen In Massachusetts -- Workers Have Never Seen Anything Like It
Tighten Belt: Americans Lower Expectations for Making Money
Lowering our expectations is one of the keys to weathering the coming age of austerity. -- RF
Drop in U.S. birth rate is the biggest in 30 years
Scott signs bill forcing drug tests on welfare recipients (Florida)
"Floridians will have to submit urine, blood or hair samples for drug testing before receiving cash benefits from the state, under a bill Gov. Rick Scott signed into law today."
Budget Crisis Will Hit U.S. State Department Hard

And finally... Fearsome lawn ornament shot dead by cops

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