Wednesday, July 06, 2011


News Links, July 7, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Greeks Buy Time for Insolvent Bankers and Delusional Politicians
Portugal downgrade hits European bank shares
Portugal CDS Hit Record High After Downgrade
"The cost of insuring Portuguese debt against default hit a record high on Wednesday and yields on Portuguese bonds spiked after Moody's cut the country's credit rating to junkand warned it may need another bailout.
"Five-year credit default swaps (CDS) on Portuguese government debt rose 82 basis points to 850 bps, according to data monitor Markit, Reuters said. This means it costs 850,000 euros to protect 10 million euros of exposure to Portuguese bonds."
Temasek's Stake Sale Deals Another Blow to China Banks
OECD Growth Steady
"Developed economies grew at an unchanged rate in the first quarter of 2011, although a decline in the contribution from consumer spending and a rise in the contribution from stock building pointed to weakness ahead."
Iranians go for gold amid inflation and currency fears
Excessive Structural Debt Suggests Further Appreciation of Gold
Silver Bullion Eagle Coins Reach Highest Demand In History According to Regal Assets
'Perfect Storm' Coming for Global Economy in 2013: Roubini
Liquidity Is Evaporating in European Sovereign Debt Markets - Again
Eric Sprott - Paper Markets Are A Joke: Prepare for Bullion Prices to Go Supernova (Chris Martenson)
More property floods Dubai, Abu Dhabi rents drop 9%
Dubai has world's highest number of hotels under construction
Fiscal stimulus doesn't work, claims Harvard economics professor Robert Barro

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Will Spratlys tension pave the way for US troops in the Philippines?
Canadian military bases on foreign soil
"As Defence Minister Peter MacKay has already admitted, Canada's 'military tempo' is at the highest levels since the Korean War."
U.S. says time short for Iraq to request troops stay
"The White House on Tuesday said time was running short for Iraq to issue a request for U.S. troops to stay in the country beyond the end of this year."
Mexico gangs threaten to behead DEA agents
Kidnap Capital: Why Mexico's snatching epidemic is worse than anything we've seen before (Foreign Policy)
Million-Barrel Oil Tanker Ablaze Off Yemen
"An oil tanker carrying 1 million barrels of oil, almost enough to supply Greece for three days, is on fire off the Yemeni coast after being attacked by pirates."
Qaddafi Seeks Exit Guarantees: Russian Envoy
"Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi will have to receive security guarantees to relinquish his four decades of rule over the North African nation, said Mikhail Margelov, Russia's envoy for negotiating Qaddafi's departure."
Russia ups stakes in Arctic race
"Russia has upped the ante in the battle for the Arctic's vast untapped energy resources, saying it hopes to formally stake a claim to a giant chunk of the territory next year."
Egypt's gas pipeline a target for anger at Israel, Mubarak
Italy To Scale Back Overseas Military Operations
"Italy said July 6 it has decided to gradually reduce its military operations abroad, as the government grapples with a financial crisis which has forced it to pass a series of austerity cuts."

## Global unrest ##
Greek premier warns against descent into lawlessness
"ATHENS, July 6, 2011 (Reuters) — Prime Minister George Papandreou warned on Wednesday that violent protests against spending cuts to satisfy international lenders threatened to lead to the kind of barbarism that in the past had derailed democracy in Greece."
Latest developments in Arab world's unrest (AP)
Beset by protests, Chile offers $4 billion for education
"Chile's President Sebastian Pinera, beset by mass student protests over education standards and costs seen threatening his legislative agenda, proposed on Tuesday a $4 billion fund for higher education."
Egyptians riot in Suez over police trials
Belarus police punch, kick, arrest protesters
"MINSK, Belarus (AP) — Police in Belarus attacked peaceful protesters on Wednesday, beating and detaining dozens in the latest series of rallies calling for the ouster of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko."
Arab unrest puts focus on UAE's northern emirates
Opposition-led strike in Bangladesh turns violent
"DHAKA, July 6, 2011 (Reuters) — At least 50 people were injured in Bangladesh in clashes between protesters and police on Wednesday, the first day of a two-day strike called by opposition parties to protest against the abolition of a system of holding national elections under a non-partisan caretaker administration."
Yemen Petrol Crisis Causing Further Social Unrest

## Energy/resources ##
A slow death: Energy crisis leaves Pakistan textiles in tatters
"Power cuts sometimes lasting more than 12 hours a day have forced factory owners in the country's cloth capital Faisalabad to switch off the lights and sell their looms for scrap, leaving tens of thousands of workers jobless."
Japan Disaster Will Slow Nuclear Energy Growth, CH2M Hill Says
An alternative version for three of the "key graphs" in IEA's 2010 World Energy Outlook
Britain's richest man to build giant Arctic iron ore mine
Jellyfish threaten Israeli power plant
Did Markets Know Obama Was Going to Tap Oil Reserve?
"Tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was supposed to lower oil prices but instead has only raised questions about market manipulation.
"The price of US crude actually is higher now than when the Department of Energy and International Energy Agency made the controversial move on June 23 to hit up the SPR in an effort to ease the gasoline burden on consumers and goose the economy."
Rising Hydrocarbon Costs: A Quick Summary for Policy Makers (Richard Heinberg)
Bidders For 30 Million Barrels Of Strategic Petroleum Reserve Disclosed; JP Morgan Requests $158 Million In Crude
Brent crude rises above $114 on tight supply prospects
France to extend oil stock releases to Dec -source
The Peak Oil Crisis: At Mid-Year (Tom Whipple)
"The most recent numbers from the International Energy Administration say that global oil supply in May was 87.41 million b/d and that demand during the rest of this year will be over 90 million b/d. A 2.5 million barrel daily shortfall is a big deal which, if it comes to pass, will have to be made up from reserves for a while."

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Thieves In Chatham Targeting Air Conditioners
"Thieves have been sneaking into back yards and crawling onto rooftops to steal entire central air conditioning units."

## Got food? ##
New Green Farming Vital To End Global Hunger: U.N.
GM crops: EU parliament backs national bans
NOAA Warns Of Widespread Upcoming Flooding, Cautions 2011 Could Rival Great Flood Of 1993
"Don't sell those corn futures just yet."

## Environment/health ##
Massive dust storm envelops Phoenix
Oil and gas spills in North Sea every week, papers reveal
Pacific Ocean trash patch mystery: How many fish eat plastic?

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
The Rising Cost of At-Home Tech
"As we move closer to relying entirely on the Internet, the free information services of the past are being eliminated, extending the divide between the haves and have-nots."
$2.7 Billion Later, the Army's Intelligence-Sharing Computer System Still Doesn't Work
Did N. Korea war drills cripple S. Korea websites?
TSA warns airlines of explosive implants
Everyone P-P-Panic! al-Qaida is Sewing Bombs Into People!
Be afraid. Be very afraid. -- RF
Climate change will increase threat of war, Chris Huhne to warn
"UK climate secretary to tell defence experts that conflict caused by climate change risks reversing the progress of civilisation."
Lawyers: Protect IP Act would align U.S. Internet policy with 'repressive regimes'
"A group of Internet and intellectual property law professors have penned a letter to congressional lawmakers in opposition to the Protect IP Act, which would give the government sweeping new powers to take websites offline, censor search engines and sue Internet publishers accused of infringing activities."
Mob kills suspected witches in South Africa
"A witch hunt is believed to be behind the killings of two people, one hacked to death and the other burned alive, in Eastern Cape, South Africa."

## Japan ##
Reactors kept on full test run; no formal nod
"Kansai Electric Power Co. and Hokkaido Electric Power Co. are operating two nuclear reactors without formal approval, four months after the Fukushima disaster raised safety concerns about the atomic power industry."
Japan to 'stress test' all nuclear reactors
Japan's Nikkei at post-quake high on recovery hopes
Hot dog! The recovery is here! -- RF
Aeon Profit Hit by March Natural Disasters
"TOKYO—Aeon Co. said Wednesday its net profit for the fiscal first quarter ended May tumbled 70% from a year earlier, hurt by an extraordinary loss caused by the March 11 disasters."
Possible summer-time power outages threaten in-home patients on ventilators
"Thousands of in-home patients on artificial respirators in Japan fear that possible power outages in the upcoming summer could bring down their breathing machines and threaten their lives."

## China ##
China Raises Rates to Counter Inflation
Easing Measures Creating Glut for Chinese Property: Expert
Report: Cisco Joins China In Developing Massive Surveillance Network
Jiang Zemin death rumours spark China web crackdown
China's economy hits its first hard wall
"Just as with the US, China's real estate industry is not a genuine real estate sector, it's an extension of the finance industry and government."

## UK ##
Food prices push shop inflation up
New car sales fell again last month
Britain is still a green and pleasant land, with just 6% urban areas
Squatters: Who are they and why do they squat?

## US ##
What's next for economy: Slow growth, weak hiring (CNN)
Minnesota in Impasse, Days Into Government Shutdown
Phoenix dust storm plays havoc with local power and transportation (VIDEO)
Gas prices jump in Motor City
Bank plan would help build bridges, boost jobs
"American has fallen to 23rd in infrastructure quality globally, according to the World Economic Forum. It will take about $2 trillion over the next five years to restore the country's infrastructure, says the American Society of Civil Engineers."
Delta's domestic traffic falls as it juggles gas prices and a weak consumer
Governor's Report Details Widespread, Organized Cheating In Atlanta Schools
"One teacher told investigators the school district 'is run like the mob.' She said she cheated because she feared being punished if she didn't."
5 Dead, 23 Hurt Over Violent Holiday Weekend (Chicago)
Menino plans emergency meeting with police after four killed, 9 wounded in spree of violence
Vandals Take Advantage Of Minnesota's Government Shutdown
"It shows once again how difficult it is to extricate the state from our lives, and the problems that are going to come to light once something like this happens."
Video: Mob shoots fireworks at responding firefighters, cops
Bullet Grazes Teen's Face During Downtown Mobile Fight
Auto industry, seeing new life, is on hiring spree
GM Stuffs Truck Inventory Channels to Goose Earnings
"It looks like General Motors is up to its old tricks as it stuffs inventory channels with higher profit trucks. GM is able to record revenue when vehicles are shipped to dealerships as opposed to actually being sold to consumers, so the move will help to paint a false picture of positive second quarter earnings."
GM to offer free car insurance
GM Offers Drivers A Reason To Wreck Their Cars
Planned Job Cuts Increase by 12% In June, Second Sequential Increase
Job Concerns Soar Among Employed and Unemployed Alike

And finally... PowerPoint ban: Swiss political party wants to outlaw the software

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