Friday, July 15, 2011

 

News Links, July 16, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Central Banks' First-Half Gold Buying Surpasses 2010 Total
Italy Urges Unity on Debt Crisis
"Italy, caught in the cross-hairs of financial markets, is renewing its push for common European bonds as the answer to a growing loss of confidence in European governments' ability to contain a crisis that is engulfing 40% of the euro zone's economy."
Italian lower house passes austerity package
Italy money supply plunge flashes red warning signals
Poverty up among Italian families
"ROME, July 15 (UPI) -- One-fifth of Italian families are living in poverty, the National Institute of Statistics reported Friday."
Singapore's Q2 GDP 7.8% lower
Five Spanish banks fail EU stress test
S&P threatens downgrade of U.S. financial companies
"Standard & Poor's on Friday raised the pressure on debt negotiators in Washington, saying it could downgrade insurers, securities clearinghouses, mortgage agencies and a laundry list of other firms without a deal soon to lift the debt ceiling and cut the deficit."
Chance of US Downgrade Even With Ceiling Agreement: S&P
James Galbraith: "We've Reached A New Level Of The Crisis" In Europe
Gold hits another record high
Gold And Silver Likely To Go Parabolic Due To 'Global Shockwaves' If U.S. Defaults
Return of the Gold Standard as world order unravels (Ambrose Evans-Pritchard)
UBS expects soaring commodity prices in the event of US default
A Bank Run in Greece May Trigger an Unintended Resolution of the Crisis
Weiss Ratings has downgraded the debt of the United States government from C to C-minus

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Chile-Bolivia-Peru maritime dispute widens
Pakistan spy chief visit to U.S. "went very well"
US may pull tactical nukes out of Europe: report
It's Friday, And Iraq Still Isn't Asking The Military To Stay
Cartel mayhem in big Mexican city rivals that on border
"The northern city of Monterrey, once Mexico's symbol of development and prosperity, is fast becoming a new Ciudad Juarez."
Deadly car bombs target Iraqi pilgrims
Iran sees trade booming despite sanctions
"TEHRAN, July 15 (UPI) -- Iran expects to garner non-oil trade worth more than $45 billion during its current calendar year despite a plethora of international sanctions led by the United States, the United Nations and the European Union."

## Global unrest ##
Massive demonstrations turn deadly in Yemen
Syria protesters 'die as troops open fire,' 28 dead
Egyptians extend protest, say army not doing enough
Clashes erupt at pro-reform protest in Jordan

## Energy/resources ##
EU Says China Is Tightening Rare-Earth Access Even as Sale Quotas Increase
Gulf oil spill aftermath: 'Drill, baby, drill' era may be gone forever
"The Gulf oil spill was capped a year ago Friday, but offshore drilling is still far off its pre-spill pace. With a new regulatory agency putting a greater emphasis on safety, the industry might have to adjust to a new normal."
Brazil has a 'North Sea of oil'
An Epic Energy Crunch (Financial Sense)
The End of Cheap Coal

## Got food? ##
Global Food Inflation to Return After Brief Respite
Dinner Table Inflation Up Almost 5 Percent in One Year (US)
Garden Know-How: Wise Watering
You did what with your biochar?

## Environment/health ##
As Cholera Surges In Haiti, Aid Withers Away
Green algae covers beaches and the sea in Qingdao, China

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
China shuts 829 websites, online stores
Russia grounds about 200 planes, cutting off distant regions
"Amid safety concerns about Russia's aging fleet of airplanes, the Kremlin has decided to ground two Soviet-era models, a move that will curtail service to more distant parts of the country."
Pentagon Wants a Social Media Propaganda Machine
U.S. Power Grid: Ripe for Cyber-Attacks
"Power cut to businesses and hospitals. The inability to heat homes in winter or cool them in summer. Debilitating blackouts. Signs of Armageddon? Maybe. But they're also the potential results of a incapacitating cyber-attack on the nation's power grids, an act that experts say could happen at any time."

## Japan ##
Fossil fuels can't save Japan from power shortage -report
TEPCO-area power demand highest so far this summer on July 15 (article in Japanese)
Between 2 and 3 p.m. demand rose to 46,400 MW, beating the predicted 45,800 MW. Maximum available capacity was 52,500 MW, leaving a safe margin, but the hottest weather is yet to come.
Japan tackles mountains of trash left in tsunami's wake
"Japanese cities leveled by the March tsunami are now left with more trash than they would normally dispose of in a century. Recycling it all is a daunting task."
Thieves raid evacuation areas / Unguarded ATMs robbed of 684 million yen; empty homes violated
"Fifty-six ATM thefts have been reported in the three disaster-hit Tohoku prefectures since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, with the amount of money stolen totaling 684 million yen, according to the National Police Agency.
"About 420 million yen, or 60 percent of the money, was stolen from within 20 kilometers of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant. Deserted in the wake of the disaster, ATMs in convenience stores and financial institutions in the area in particular have become targets for theft."
Gov. Ishihara says new power plant to be built in Tokyo
Industrial power sales in Japan fall for 4th month in June
"TOKYO (Kyodo) -- Electricity sales by Japan's 10 regional utilities to industrial, large-lot users in June declined 2.8 percent from a year earlier to 23.46 billion kilowatt-hours, falling for the fourth straight month, the Federation of Electric Power Companies of Japan said Friday in its preliminary report."
Science minister says to mull halting Monju fast-breeder prototype reactor project
Canceling this boondoggle would be one of the smartest things the government has ever done. -- RF
Kan offers no viable N-power alternatives / Businesses, bureaucrats call plan to draw on companies' surplus power unrealistic
Farm ships 42 cows fed irradiated straw
Finding that radiation-tainted straw was produced far from nuclear plant causes shock

## China ##
China to release more pork reserves onto market to curb soaring prices
Average Chinese struggle under rising inflation
A Few Reasons Why China Has Even Less Energy Security Than America

## UK ##
Rents hit record high as housing demand outstrips supply
Almost 9% unemployed six months on from graduation
UK to send four more RAF Tornados to Libya

## US ##
Minnesota Governor, Lawmakers Reach Deal To End Shutdown
Recession's toll: About five years of retirement
Muni Default Plunge Belies Whitney as Borrowers Shun Insolvency
In the end, munis have only one way to go. Whitney should stick to her guns. -- RF
U.S. States 'Can Ill Afford' Debt Default, National Governors Chief Says
"Should the U.S. government loses its top Aaa credit rating following a default, at least 7,000 top-rated municipal credits would have their ratings cut, Moody's Investors Service said in a report this week. Top-rated securities with no direct links to the national government would also be reviewed for similar action, the New York-based company said.
"An 'automatic' downgrade affecting $130 billion in municipal debt directly linked to the U.S. would follow any reduction in the federal level, Moody's said."
Whoa! This looks like big trouble for munis. What's that about Whitney losing credibility? -- RF
US debt crisis: Obama warns of 'tax rise for all' if deal cannot be done
Gloomy consumers cast dark cloud over economy
Chicago mayor announces 625 layoffs to balance budget
What happened to the $2.6 trillion Social Security trust fund? (Forbes)
Short answer: The fund has been looted and exists in name only. -- RF
Regulators close 2 small banks in Georgia, 1 in Florida; makes 54 US bank failures this year
Georgia Police Bust Girls' Lemonade Stand




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