Monday, July 11, 2011


News Links, July 12, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
EU Stance Shifts on Greece Default (FT)
"European leaders are for the first time prepared to accept that Athens should default on some of its bonds as part of a new bail-out plan for Greece that would put the country's overall debt levels on a sustainable footing."
Italy, Spain Will Mean More 'Carnage': Fund Manager
"As euro zone finance ministers meet to discuss the latest plan on the table aimed at solving the Greek debt crisis, one fund manager is warning that Italy and Spain will be downgraded, raising the possibility of 'carnage' for global markets."
Spanish Region "Discovers" Its Budget Deficit Is Double What Was Previously Thought
Italy Leads Surge in Sovereign Debt Risk to Record on Contagion
EU Revives Buyback Idea as Crisis Swamps Italy
Crunch time looms for public-sector pensions (Canada)
US Stocks Routed As Euro-Zone Worries Drown Out Earnings Hopes
Stocks sink on fresh fears about global economy
Traders Freak Out About How Bad Things Have Become On The Street: "Everyone Is Looking Over Their Shoulder"
Wall St. Banks Expected to Post Weak 2nd-Quarter Results
China's U.S.-listed stocks are junk (MarketWatch)
Emerging Stocks Retreat Most in Three Weeks on Global Growth Concern
Brazil gorges on credit-card debt, and economists worry it could threaten nation's boom
Are French Banks Next On The Block After Italy?
European Government Bond Spreads at Record Highs vs. Germany; 2-Year Spreads: Greece 30.09, Portugal 17.11, Ireland 16.58

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
US army chief Mike Mullen reaffirms 'Pacific power'
China, U.S. Military Leaders Spar Over Sea Dispute
Popularity Of Drones Takes Off For Many Countries
Brace for a surge in Southeast Asian piracy
"China's aggressive claims to parts of the South China Sea contested by the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, Taiwan and Brunei is damaging regional cooperation against piracy, allowing more attacks — 41 so far this year after 30 last year. Naval exercises with the United States this week do include anti-piracy drills but the main aim has become establishing sovereignty."
UK merchant ships 'could be armed' to stop pirates
Pakistan says it doesn't need US military aid
Pakistan's rocket fire into Afghanistan alarms locals, US forces
Panetta blames Iran for rise in Iraq violence
Pakistan Courts China as US Announces Military Aid Cuts

## Global unrest ##
Mass brawls among young Saudi men on the rise
"A recent study conducted by King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue said gang fighting among young men was mainly caused by unemployment and leisure time...
"The study, of which Arab News has a copy, said other reasons for the spread of violence among young men was caused by the deterioration of economic conditions and social disparities."
Egypt mobilize troops after protesters threaten Suez Canal
"CAIRO — The Egyptian military on Sunday mobilized ground troops, light tanks and personnel carriers as protesters threatened to shut down Port Tawfiq, a key link of the Suez Canal."
Egyptians extend protest to fourth day
"More than 2,000 Egyptians braved sweltering heat on Monday for a fourth day of protests aimed at pressing Egypt's military rulers to enact swifter reforms and speed up the prosecution of Hosni Mubarak and his allies."
No let up in Moroccan protests for deeper reform
"Thousands of Moroccans staged protests on Sunday, the latest in a series of peaceful demonstrations by a youth-led movement to demand reforms that go beyond constitutional changes crafted by the palace."
Latest developments in Arab political unrest stretching from North Africa to the Persian Gulf (AP)
Syrian mobs attack U.S., French embassies
Ambush, bombs raise tension in Thailand's restive south

## Energy/resources ##
Rubber consumption to hit 25.7 million tons this year
Clean Tech Sector Heading for a Major Crash
"The global clean energy industry is set for a major crash. The reason is simple. Clean energy is still much more expensive and less reliable than coal or gas, and in an era of heightened budget austerity the subsidies required to make clean energy artificially cheaper are becoming unsustainable."
The Natural Limits of Wind Energy
Nord Stream to counter Japan's gas takeup

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copper theft leads to emergency power outages

## Got food? ##
India aims record harvest as monsoon covers entire country
Let's hope they have a record harvest. But can it compensate for losses elsewhere? -- RF
The decline of agriculture? (AJ feature)
"Climate change induced extreme weather events and shifting weather patterns are challenging farmer's ability to feed us."

## Environment/health ##
Water curbs spread in France despite June rain
Gonorrhoea strain found to be 'resistant to antibiotics'
7 Ontario hospitals still fighting C. difficile outbreaks

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Anonymous threatens police over phone hacking and Julian Assange
Anonymous hacks US military contractor site

## Japan ##
Japan's nuclear industry credibility crumbles amid email scandal
UPDATE: Japan Rolls Out Stress Test Program For Nuclear Plants (WSJ)
Expert says that if Tokyo has blackout, it would take at least 30 hours to recover (article in Japanese)
Radioactive cesium found in straw fed to cattle in Fukushima
Volunteers struggling with heat
Evacuation shelters plagued by heat, stench
Heat wave causes health concerns in Japan
Already five times more people than last year have been taken to hospitals for heat stroke (Yokohama; article in Japanese)

## China ##
Building Boom in China Stirs Fears of Debt Overload (NYT)
Another Shiny New Chinese Infrastructure Project Collapses, And Kills 2
Auto market forecast to reach 50M units
China's Wen Says Inflation Top Priority, More Tightening Seen
Thousands delayed after bullet train loses power
"THOUSANDS of passengers heading to Shanghai from Beijing suffered delays of up to three hours on the newly opened bullet train service yesterday after a power grid failure...
"'It was all black onboard ... no water, no air-conditioning and no light,' recalled a passenger."
Moody's Raises 'Red Flags' at 61 Chinese Firms
China Local-Bond Sale Falls Short (WSJ)
"Amid growing concerns about the financial health of local governments, China on Monday failed to sell some of the 50 billion yuan ($7.73 billion) in local bonds offered at a regular auction.
"It was the first time one of these Ministry of Finance auctions failed to sell out since they began in 2009."
China to punish local officials for excessive debts: report
China starts constructing own flattop / '2 carriers operational within 10 yrs'

## UK ##
Half of all wind farm plans 'rejected by town halls and Nimbys'
Safety warning as 1,000 fire jobs axed

## US ##
Is a 'Skills Gap' Pricing Americans Out of Jobs?
On Day 10 Of Government Shutdown, Businesses Are Failing In Downtown St. Paul
A year later, Gulf Coast still coming to terms with oil spill
It's a furnace-like feeling across central, southern states
"Heat index to reach 115 degrees in some areas; Chicago hit by strong storm"
10 middle-class jobs that are rapidly vanishing
California To Split? County Supervisor Asks For Support
"Thirteen mostly conservative California counties would break away to create a 51st state known as South California under a proposal by an elected official."
End Of Shuttle Program Leaves Thousands Jobless
Cisco May Cut About 5,000 Jobs: Analyst
Fed programs supply $2 of $10 in income
Economy Faces a Jolt as Benefit Checks Run Out
Wall Street Banks Market $3.7 Billion of Commercial Mortgage-Backed Bonds
"Wall Street banks are marketing about $3.7 billion of bonds tied to property loans, wagering investor demand for the debt will withstand mounting concerns that the U.S. economic recovery is stalling and the European crisis is spreading."
Ratio Of Insider Selling To Buying: 3,700 To 1

And finally... Believers In Mysterious Planet Nibiru Await Earth's End

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