Tuesday, July 19, 2011


News Links, July 20, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Big Banks Face Capital Levy as High as 2.5%: FSB
"Global regulators have backed Basel plans that would force banks judged too big to fail to hold as much as 2.5 percentage points in additional capital, as part of efforts to prevent them from collapsing and causing another financial crisis."
Exclusive: U.S. backup debt plan doesn't support rating: Moody's
"(Reuters) - A backup plan to raise the U.S. debt ceiling and avoid default could still lead to a negative outlook on the country's ratings, Moody's said on Tuesday, highlighting the plan's failure to substantially reduce the deficit."
Do China And India Hold The Key To The Gold Trade?
Electrolux profits hit by weak demand and high costs
"Electrolux, the world's second-biggest maker of home appliances, has reported a slump in profits due to weaker demand and high raw material costs."
Gold gleams, banks and airlines hit nadirs, NetFlix and Panera reach possible peaks
Fear drives investors into arms of gold, cash
Goldman to Cut Jobs as Debt Trading Misses
Europe's Debt-Crisis Policies Are 'Absolutely Crazy,' Sen Says
"European Union policies to try to protect the euro region from a possible sovereign debt default are 'absolutely crazy,' according to Amartya Sen, the first Indian to win the Nobel Prize for economics."
Portugal Joins Spain And Greece In Lying About Its "Colossal" Deficit
Abu Dhabi cuts expat jobs to trim costs, boost locals
IMF: Debt threatens to engulf Europe

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Iran says it is installing 'better' nuclear centrifuges
Gadhafi government holds talks with U.S. officials
Carbon tax makes Gillard Australia's least wanted
Pakistani legal action targets U.S. drone program
Russia: the Land of Falling Planes, Sinking Ships, and Crumbling Infrastructure
US-Pakistan relations worsen with arrest of two alleged spies
ASEAN works to resolve sea reserves issue
Senators Warn China That Escalations In South China Seas Threaten US "National Interests", China Likely To Retaliate
South China Sea energy riches beckon
Slain kids cast larger shadow on Mexican drug war
"Once largely spectators to the deaths of hitmen, police and innocent bystanders, children are increasingly in the firing line of Mexico's drug war."
Taiwan: China's military advantage growing

## Global unrest/mob rule ##
Xinjiang police attack was terrorism, China says
'20 Uighurs killed' in China clash
Syrian troops kill 16 people in Homs as security crackdown intensifies
'Death squads' on streets of Homs
Africa's summer of strikes
"Many wonder if the Arab Spring will reach Africa, but what people should really be watching is the spread of strikes across the continent in response to rising costs, inequality, and government dissatisfaction."
Egypt Economy May Miss Growth Target, Stoking Social Unrest: Arab Credit
Army, police called to quell central Colombia labor riots

## Energy/resources ##
Kenya's main airport suffers power outage again
Report: High oil prices unlikely to budge
Uranium Find in India Could Be World's Largest: Report
But it won't save the nuclear power industry. -- RF
Massive Chilean dam project met with protest
Iran threatens Indian oil shipments
India Looks Beyond Iran for Oil
South Korea govt. warns on fuel price hike
"SEOUL, July 19 (UPI) -- Rising fuel prices in South Korea have aroused public anger, with the government promising to investigate price surges."
A New Study Takes The Wind Out Of Wind Energy — Reality has overtaken green hope.
"For years, it's been an article of faith among advocates of renewables that increased use of wind energy can provide a cost-effective method of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. The reality: wind energy's carbon dioxide-cutting benefits are vastly overstated. Furthermore, if wind energy does help reduce carbon emissions, those reductions are too expensive to be used on any kind of scale."
Iran's Oil Refining Capacity Rises 18% in 2010, OPEC Says
Saudi Arabia ups oil output in May to 8.89m bpd
Cargo transportation workers question Gov't fuel shortage downplay (Argentina)
"It takes us very much by surprise that the Government denys fuel shortages, when all petrol stations are filled to the brim with vehicles, causing customers to wait hours to be able to fill up their tanks."
Fuel shortage hits Entebbe airport

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Councils in Wales hit by soaring cost of metal thefts
"Figures obtained by BBC Wales suggest such thefts have cost Welsh local authorities almost £680,000 this year, more than double the previous year.
"Officials say the problem is so great it is having a knock-on effect on other council services."
Man accused of running an organized A/C theft ring

## Got food? ##
Corn Futures Advance as Persistent Hot Weather in Midwest Threatens Yields
Economists explain high commodity prices
Grasshoppers threaten California crops, gardens

## Environment/health ##
Polar bear cubs die as ice melts, swims get longer
Latest Figures On Obesity Paint An Uglier Picture
Grow Your Own Mosquito Repellent

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Biographer: Hacking scandals to be the end of Rupert Murdoch
Murdoch's legal, financial woes escalate
BSkyB License Is Lawmakers' Next Target
"Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which already abandoned its 7.8 billion-pound ($12.5 billion) bid for full control of British Sky Broadcasting Group Plc (BSY) because of a phone-hacking scandal, is now being challenged on whether it should be allowed to keep its existing stake."
Survey: Wireless Networks Are Near Capacity
"Mobile networks in North America are filled to 80 percent of capacity, with 36 percent of base stations facing capacity constraints, according to a survey by investment bank Credit Suisse.
"Networks in other regions also are more than 50 percent utilized, with the global average at 65 percent, Credit Suisse said after surveying carriers around the world. That level of use matches the average 'threshold' rate that would trigger the service providers to start buying more network equipment, the report said. Looking ahead, on average the carriers expected their utilization rate to grow to 70 percent within 12 months."
CIOs Today Concerned about Data Center Power and Driving Efficiency
'Anonymous' Hackers Arrested by FBI
Pentagon Announces Buildup of Cyber Defenses
"WASHINGTON, July 18, 2011 – The Defense Department announced late last week a plan to proactively deal with cyber intrusions through a collaborative buildup of civilian and military network defenses."

## Japan ##
Typhoon Ma-on Slows as It Nears Japan, Won't Hit Fukushima Nuclear Station
Brittleness factor of aging reactors key restart criterion
All reactors off by spring — a once unthinkable scenario
And the problem wouldn't be only a power shortage. Reactors that don't produce electricity are non-performing assets that weigh heavily on the utilities' balance sheets. -- RF
Oi reactor stoppage could leave Kansai Electric in the dark
Quake Shifts Japan's Summer Energy Equation
"The region around Osaka—Japan's second-largest business hub—is facing a tighter electricity crunch than Tokyo this summer, in a turnabout that shows how the Fukushima nuclear accident has upended the nation's power supply."
Fukushima: 554 Cows Fed Contaminated Feed Shipped

## China ##
Accounting 'Red Flags' Drive Bond Spreads to Record Levels: China Credit
"Borrowing costs have risen to record levels for Chinese companies marked with "red flags" by ratings firms for unclear financial reporting and high levels of private ownership."
Another Shanghai Metro platform door shattered
Xi Jinping: China will 'smash' Tibet separatism
TABLE-China power shortage forecasts by region

## UK ##
The coming UK energy meltdown
Phone Hacking: News of the World executive 'worked as police translator'

## US ##
Treatment plant failure cuts potable water to 35,000 customers
Youth programs hit as states cut budgets
Moody's Just Put These 5 States On Downgrade Warning
Americans fed up with constant political gridlock
Obama Lauds 'Gang Of Six' Budget Plan
Oops: Boehner Says Gang Of Six Proposal "Appears To Fall Short"
Default could 'sink the whole boat'
My 3 Cents: When and How to Haggle for Everyday Items
Extreme couponing: Stockpiling toothpaste, meat
Electric Car Maker Folds, Salinas Loses $500,000
U.S. pays a third more for defense as in 2001: analyst
"The U.S. military has essentially the same size, force structure and capabilities as it did a decade ago but costs 35 percent more, an independent public policy think tank said on Monday in an analysis of the 2012 defense budget."
While there are multiple reasons for this, the role of more expensive energy cannot be overemphasized. -- RF
Incredible Shrinking Workers' Income (graph)
Postmaster: Saturday mail delivery could end soon
"Saturday mail delivery could end soon and in 15 years 'we'll be talking about delivering mail three days a week,' Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told the USA TODAY Editorial Board today."
Financial Crisis Phase II Is Ahead
"How can we be in recession now when the GDP still shows growth? Because of improper inflation adjustments. 'Real' GDP growth, the headline number, is nominal growth minus the rate of inflation. However, inflation is far understated for political reasons.
"Currently, the GDP deflator is 1.8%, which hardly reflects the true rise in prices. Therefore, what is counted as 'growth,' is actually price increases. Actual inflation, according to free market economists who calculate inflation as it was done in 1980 before the politician re-engineered it, is now more than 11%. Using that to adjust GDP for inflation, would show that the economy is now in a very sharp contraction."
PIMCO: Housing market doomed for foreseeable future
BofA reports worst ever loss, margins shrink
Borders end to have ripple effect across country
Lockheed Announces Voluntary Layoffs
Pentagon Worries About Space Industry With End of Shuttle Program
"As the space-shuttle era draws to a close and budget pressures threaten to constrain spending, a senior Defense Department official said on Tuesday that the government needs to take steps to protect the aerospace industrial base and to preserve the United States' technological edge in space."
24 Small Towns May Lose Air Service
"Rural America, already struggling to recover from the recession and the flight of its young people, is about to take another blow: the loss of its airline service.
"That was underscored last week when Delta Air Lines announced that it "can no longer afford" to continue service at 24 small airports. The carrier says it is losing a total of $14 million a year on flights from places like Thief River Falls, a city of 8,600 in northwest Minnesota that fills only 12 percent of the seats, or Pierre, the capital of South Dakota, where Delta's two daily flights are on average less than half full."
Overheated transformers causing power outages in central Indiana
Is US a nation of liars? Casey Anthony isn't the only one.

And finally...
Chihuahua chases off robbers
Alleged groper of TSA agent becomes new folk hero

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