Tuesday, June 07, 2011


News Links, June 8, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
European Banks' Capital Shortfall Means Greece Debt Default Not an Option
"The 'fragilities' of Europe's banking industry mean a Greek default isn't an option, European Union Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said in New York last week."
Obama urges tough decisions on Greek debt crisis
Uncle Sam's total unfunded obligations: $62 trillion
How China Just Implemented A Stealth Bailout Bigger Than One And A Half TARPs
Is China's Growth Grinding to a Halt?
Chinese Companies Embark on Shopping Spree in Europe
Bargain Hunting in Greece
"Greece is for sale—cheap—and Germany is buying."
Analysis: Industries cautious on supply chain recovery
Dollar Index at 1-Month Low as China Warns on US Assets
A First In History: The Coming Simultaneous European Banking Collapse
ECB Has €444 Billion PIIGS Exposure, A 4.25% Drop In Asset Values Would Bankrupt European Central Bank
Austerity Watch: Portgual, North Carolina, Minnesota Fiscal Fights Get Nasty

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Iran sends submarines to Red Sea: report
Mexican Drug Lords Building D.I.Y. 'Tanks'
South American submarine industry set to grow
China's military growth alarms neighbors
Gaddafi vows 'we will not surrender' as Nato bombs his compound
China, Russia Could Make U.S. Stealth Tech Obsolete
Yemen facing humanitarian catastrophe: UNICEF
China accused of violating accord on Spratlys

## Global unrest ##
Israel prepares for more violence in Golan Heights village
Syria: Tension mounts in Jisr al-Shughour as government sends tanks into town where 120 troops killed
Maiduguri: 'Boko Haram' attacks Nigeria police stations

## Energy/resources ##
Blackout warnings as electricity demand rises (Australia)
Power outages to continue until Nov (Bangladesh)
Fuel Shortages Forces Ulaanbaatar Railways to Suspend its Non-Essential Routes
Fuel shortage: Pumps shut as petrol supply dries up (Pakistan)
Brazil Seeks To Boost Stagnant Ethanol Industry
Empty filling stations and the great fuel mystery (UAE)
Fuel outlets in Sharjah and Northern Emirates run dry for sixth day
Saudis Raise Oil Production to Curb Prices
Aramco Speeds Up Manifa Oil Field Project to Feed Refineries
OPEC Seen Considering Raising Oil Output Up to 1.5 Million Barrels a Day
OPEC meeting pits Iran, Venezuela against Saudis on whether to raise crude output level
As Oil Demand Rises and Unrest Continues, OPEC's Power Over Prices Has Limits (NYT)
Overestimating Wind Power Generation: From the UK to New York State
"Growing evidence from both sides of the Atlantic indicates that performance models based on wind data often promise levels of generation substantially above actual wind power output."
Patients Evacuated as Power Outage Persists at Leading Zimbabwe Hospital
Crisis-hit Belarus raises gasoline prices by 30 pct
SA coal prices up on Chinese power shortfall
Lahaul valley reels under petrol crisis (India)
Arctic Wars and Change
Russia and Norway agree deal over oil-rich Barents Sea
Investors Salivating Over Mongolian Energy Resources

## Got food? ##
Food Prices Stay Near Record as Meat Costs Rise
"World food prices lingered near record levels in May as meat and dairy costs rose, contributing to inflationary pressures that may drive millions into hunger, even as grain prices fell."
Drought spurs early wheat cutting in Kansas
"The worst droughts in decades are wilting wheat fields worldwide."
Food Prices to Stay High, Says U.N.
"Drought in some areas and heavy rain in others are keeping world food prices near record levels, threatening the food supply for poorer, food-importing countries, the United Nations' food body said Tuesday."
Mozambique's Struggles Fueled By The Price Of Bread

## Environment/health ##
Arizona Wildfires Force Evacuation Of Another Town
Ongoing rains worsen record-breaking floods along Missouri River
"Rising waters threaten Montana, North Dakota, and South Dakota, and are expected to push south soon. The Midwest will be underwater all summer, say officials."
Fatal floods hit southern China after prolonged drought
Rough dry season feared in Horn of Africa
New Viruses Found in Bees May Aid in Hunt to Explain Mysterious Deaths

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Failed anti-terror campaigns 'waste of money', Prevent strategy admits (UK)
U.S.: No confirmation of Kashmiri death

## Japan ##
In Japan, a drive into destruction (video)
A tour of the tsunami-swept area. Basically there is literally "nothing" to see but some piles of debris and a lot of empty space where towns used to be. Despite bullish pronouncements by government and industry, much of this will never be rebuilt the way it was before. -- RF
Japan makes new nuclear safety vows after quake
Creating a new regulatory agency will just add to government bloating and complexity, and raise the energy throughput needed to keep the government functioning. I don't see a good end to this. -- RF
May Bank Lending Balance Down 0.3% In 19th Straight Fall
Beaches face nuke readings
Radiation levels likely exceed safety standard outside evacuation zone
TEPCO faces prolonged battle against radioactive debris, water
'Melt-through' at Fukushima? / Govt report to IAEA suggests situation worse than meltdown
"Nuclear fuel in three reactors at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant has possibly melted through pressure vessels and accumulated at the bottom of outer containment vessels, according to a government report obtained Tuesday by The Yomiuri Shimbun."
30% of workers 15 to 24 'nonregular'
Looming power crisis could cost electric firms 2 trillion yen

## China ##
To Further Curb Heavy Industries to Tackle Power Shortage
"With the worst electricity shortages in years poised to grip China this summer, top planning officials are now suggesting that the country's reliance on energy consumption to fuel economic growth is one of the root causes."
Central China provinces forecast huge power shortages
"Central China, including Hunan, Hubei, Jiangxi, Chongqing, Sichuan and Henan, is predicted to see a maximum 6GW power shortage during summer peak this year and the figure may reach 12GW if coal supply continued to tighten or extreme weather occurs."
China issues heat alert in various regions
China should abandon energy intensive growth mode (People's Daily)
Is there a non-energy-intensive growth mode? -- RF
High prices put brakes on China bullet train
"Mounting costs and prohibitive prices are putting the brakes on China's ambitious high-speed rail program."

## UK ##
Student numbers could be cut to cover spiralling cost of loans
12th E.coli case confirmed in UK as death toll reaches 23
Half of UK not saving enough for retirement, says study
Surge in Heating Oil Thefts Reported in UK
'Sophisticated' petrol theft gangs target filling stations
Scottish Power is to raise the cost of gas by 19% and the cost of electricity by 10%
Millions of households face record high energy bills
"Millions of households were warned last night that they face 'unacceptable' rises in their energy bills after one of the biggest power firms announced average increases of nearly £200 a year."
MoD faces daily cyber-attacks, Liam Fox says
Scotland to split from UK and 'be a nation again'?
Stand by the standpipes – the drought is back, UK told
"Four major regions of the UK will be officially declared drought-stricken this week, in a move that is likely to see special powers introduced overwater supplies on farms and businesses across large swaths of the country."

## US ##
We need an 'Evil Plan' to foil our own leaders: Defend yourself from the coming 'American Winter' (Paul Farrell)
How America will collapse (by 2025): Four scenarios that could spell the end of the United States as we know it -- in the very near future
"Despite the aura of omnipotence most empires project, a look at their history should remind us that they are fragile organisms. So delicate is their ecology of power that, when things start to go truly bad, empires regularly unravel with unholy speed: just a year for Portugal, two years for the Soviet Union, eight years for France, 11 years for the Ottomans, 17 years for Great Britain, and, in all likelihood, 22 years for the United States, counting from the crucial year 2003."
Police investigate reports of mass grave with "a lot of bodies" near Hardin, Texas
Chicago police need to target violent flash mobs
Illinois Legislature Leaves Good Citizens Defenseless Against Brutal "Flash Mobs"
New Jersey Seeks To Shrink Medicaid
"Cash-strapped states are rethinking how much health care coverage they can afford to provide for their neediest residents. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie wants to cut $500 million in Medicaid spending — in part by freezing more than 20,000 state residents out of the program."
U.S. Military Has New Threat: Health Care Costs
"Defense Secretary Robert Gates says that pension and health care costs are eating the U.S. military alive. And the Pentagon predicts that the cost of taking care of its troops and retirees will keep growing."
Near-record heat in upper 90s prompts warnings
CDC: 'We've Made Virtually No Progress' On Salmonella In 15 Years
Community gardening grows in popularity
Freak Weather May Cause Record Insurance Losses
Bernanke Admits Economy Slowing; No Hint of New Stimulus
Bernanke's Self-Serving Bold-Faced Lies (Concise summation by Mish)
Fed Easing 'Miserable Failure' That Risks Depression: Bove
"The Federal Reserve is risking a second Great Depression by putting pressure on banks to raise more capital, banking analyst Dick Bove writes in a scathing note that accuses the central bank of losing 'all sense of reality.'"
Fewer jobs for unemployed workers
U.S. Stocks Drop on No Hint of New Stimulus
Stores that are no more (photo gallery)
66% Of Las Vegas Mortgages Are Underwater, 27.7% Of Total US Housing Debt Has Negative And Near-Negative Equity
More possible blackouts to come (El Paso)

And finally... Germany officially the world's least funny country

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