Tuesday, July 12, 2011


News Links, July 13, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Moody's cuts Ireland to junk, warns of second bailout
Plunge Brings Debt Crisis to Italy
The size of Greece's debt (Al Jazeera video)
Greek Default May Be 'Inevitable': Soros
Catastrophes Cost Insurers $60B in First Half
"Natural disasters, including the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, cost insurers about $60 billion in the first half of this year, almost five times the average since 2001, Munich Re said."
Portugal Slump to Deepen as Austerity Bites
The Link Between Peak Oil and Peak Debt – Part 1 (Gail the Actuary)
South Africa's Borrowing Costs Rise to Highest in Four Months at Auction
Singapore's Cost of Living Overtakes Hong Kong for First Time, Mercer Says
Gold in euros hits record as debt crisis spreads
The Rising Cost of Insuring Against US Government Debt
Cardiac Arrest; Italy and Spain Close to the Abyss
James Turk: Gold Is Our Defense Against the Fiat Currency Graveyard (Chris Martenson)
The Beginning of the End of Europe

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Egypt: Gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan hit by blast
Hamid Karzai's Brother Killed By His Own Bodyguards
Death of Ahmad Wali Karzai leaves Afghan power vacuum
U.S. may act unilaterally vs Iran-armed Iraq militias
Syria's relations with France and US reach a new low
French Reauthorize Libya Bombing; Juppé Says Gadhafi Is Ready To Leave

## Global unrest ##
Protesters broaden tactics as Belarus cracks down
Protesters find new momentum as they reoccupy Egypt's Tahrir Square
Rioters Throw Petrol Bombs At Police In Belfast
Residents flee Nigerian city hit by sect attacks
Corruption at root of Arab protests, Dubai Police chief says
Marquette Mob Attacks (US)
Factory closed after labour unrest (India)
Factional fighting brings Yemen unrest nearer Saudi
Cypriots Riot After Deadly Munitions Blast

## Energy/resources ##
Analysis:After Japan, Slow Change Seen For U.S. Nuclear Industry
"The U.S. nuclear industry this week gets its first peek at a roadmap for new regulations that ultimately could cost it billions in the wake of Japan's Fukushima Daiichi disaster."
Analysis: China Unlikely To Yield On Rare Earths Despite WTO
OPEC report: Crude production growing
"OPEC's crude oil production rose by 500,000 barrels a day in June but was short of expected demand later in the summer, the group said Tuesday in Vienna."
How Seawater Can Power the World (NYT)
Fusion power is just around the corner! -- RF
Strategic crude fetches up to $109/barrel
China considers shale gas production
"While U.S. shale natural gas deposits are usually found at depths of 1 to 2 miles, in China, some of the key areas in the Sichuan and Tarim basins, which have the greatest potential for shale gas are found at depths of 2 to 4 miles, adding to well costs."
Rising Cost of Fossil Fuels and the Coming Energy Crunch
India's $3 Billion Wind Market to Slump as Tax Break May End
Saudi seeks to gain from India-Iran crude payment dispute
Japan utilities June LNG consumption rises sharply y/y
Canadians must stop taking electricity for granted
"Canadians generally take electricity for granted. There is an assumption that the lights will come on and machines will run when the switch is flipped. However, the blackout of 2003 should have been a powerful wake-up call of just how fragile the system is."

## Got food? ##
Japan rice prices soaring in wholesalers' trade (MarketWatch)
"Prices for rice harvested in 2010 in Japan have been rising sharply in trading between wholesalers as the nuclear crisis in Fukushima Prefecture has prompted them to increase inventories out of concern about possible supply shortages, market watchers said Monday, Kyodo News reported."
Drought in 14 states means disaster for many
"The heat and the drought are so bad in this southwest corner of Georgia that hogs can barely eat. Corn, a lucrative crop with a notorious thirst, is burning up in fields. Cotton plants are too weak to punch through soil so dry it might as well be pavement."

## Environment/health ##
Bolivia appeals for help as snow strands thousands
"Farmers have lost their crops and more than 50,000 llamas and alpacas are without food, after their pastures were covered by a thick layer of snow."
Super-Resistant Gonorrhea Strain Found In Japan
Heat wave extends to US Northeast, setting records
Northwest sees 35% infant mortality spike post-Fukushima (Fox)

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
How Facebook secretly aids government searches
Police: Internet providers must keep user logs
"Law enforcement representatives are planning to endorse a proposed federal law that would require Internet service providers to store logs about their customers for 18 months, CNET has learned."

## Japan ##
Japan poverty rate hits record high
"Japan's poverty rate in 2009 hit a record-high 16.0 percent, up 0.3 percentage point from 2006, as population shares increased for people aged 65 or older and nonregular employees with less income, the welfare ministry said Tuesday."
Kan Demands Less Nuclear Power for Japan
Kan to explore possibility of nationalizing nuclear power
With Power Shortage Looming, Japan Hustles to Prove Nuclear Reactors Are Safe
"In the grip of power-saving patriotism, the government said that nearly 7000 people — three times more than last year — were hospitalized around the country with heatstroke in June."
Removal of reactor fuel won't start until 2021
Japan's Edano: Must Prevent Flight Of Businesses Overseas Due To Power Shortage
And where will they go? Other countries also have power shortages. -- RF
Nuclear Power Supply Declines in Japan
"Japan's nuclear power operating rate averaged 37% in June, falling below 40% for the first time in more than 30 years, as many utilities were unable to restart reactors after regular maintenance amid fears over nuclear energy and disagreements within the government on criteria allowing reactor operations."
Japan's citizen scientists map radiation, DIY-style
Heatstroke Deaths Quadruple as Japan Shuns AC
Meat of 6 cows fed radioactive straw reaches 11 prefectures
Gov't likely to cut FY 2011 growth forecast to around 0.5%

## China ##
China foreign exchange reserves near $3.2T
PBOC Tries to Assuage Concerns Over Debt
China Money Supply Growth, New Lending Rebound Even After Cooling Measures
Ship begins 50-day patrol of Nansha (Spratly) Islands
China's debts hit 28t yuan
"China's government debts totaled about 28 trillion yuan by the end of 2010, accounting for 71 percent of the GDP, the Beijing Times reported Tuesday."
China unable to sell out local bond for first time
Overcapacity being cut amid power shortages
"BEIJING - China will continue to phase out unneeded industrial capacity this year, with 2,255 enterprises closing facilities, while the government fights the worst power shortage in years, a statement on the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) website said on Monday."
Power failure delays 29 bullet trains
"A power failure has delayed 29 trains on China's newly built high-speed railway linking Beijing and Shanghai, shortly after a similar incident halted 11 of the railway's trains two days ago, sources with the Shanghai Railway Bureau confirmed Tuesday."
Analysis: China's push for more hydropower tests limits
"Plans to use massive new hydropower development to boost China's power capacity by nearly half by 2015 will not dent coal demand enough to cut greenhouse gas emissions and could further damage the country's strained river system."

## UK ##
Every household in Britain faces having to pay £42,000 to cover the cost of public sector pensions

## US ##
Newest Line of Business for Big Banks: Slumlording
"The nation's biggest bailed-out banks have unintentionally entered a new line of work: slumlording. In some cases, major banks have created whole neighborhoods of abandoned and deteriorating foreclosure properties -- and a blight on local municipalities."
Bank's Deal Means More Will Lose Their Homes
A Small City's Depleted Pension Fund Rattles Rhode Island
"The small city of Central Falls, R.I., appears to be headed for a rare municipal bankruptcy filing, and state officials are rushing to keep its woes from overwhelming the struggling state."
Feds expand gun sales reporting requirements in four border states
The economic debacle in four simple charts
Cisco Could Eliminate as Many as 10,000 Jobs: Report
"Networking equipment company Cisco Systems could eliminate as many as 10,000 jobs, or about 14 percent of its workforce, to revive profit growth, Bloomberg said, citing two people familiar with the matter."
The numbers just keep getting bigger. Yet another company downsizing its way to profitability. -- RF
California companies fleeing the Golden State
California State hikes tuition by another 12%
America's Big City Millionaires Grew by 7.3% in 2010
US trade deficit widens to more than $50bn in May
Obama: Debt dispute threatens Social Security
"President Obama said today he can't guarantee that Social Security checks will go out after Aug. 2, unless Congress agrees to increase the $14.3 trillion debt ceiling."
McConnell Proposes Congress Punt Debt-Ceiling Power To Obama
What The 'New Normal' Means For Americans
High levels of radiation detected in Northwest rainwater
Shoplifting: Is It Good for the Economy?
Mortgage Company Completely Trashes Man's Home, Steals All His Belongings - Cops Decline To Investigate
Connecticut employees get layoff notices
The earnings conundrum

And finally... Bank refuses to recognize woman is alive

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