Wednesday, August 03, 2011


News Links, August 4, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
China Joins Russia in Blasting U.S. Borrowing
China Rating Agency Downgrades US Debt
US Debt Clashes to Continue, Downgrade Likely: Analysts
France and Germany: One more Bailout Away from Fiscal Crisis
SNB Cuts Rate to Zero to Counter Franc Strength
Canadian banks pummeled in global rout
Italy's borrowing costs hit a new euro-era high
European Stocks Fall, Extend 11-Month Low
Hungary Debt Sale Fails as Forint Weakens
South Africa Bails Out Swaziland After Budget Crisis Sparks Union Riots
Severe material shortage forces local businesses reduce operation (Vietnam)
EU says capacity to solve debt crisis in doubt
"(Reuters) - The European Union acknowledged on Wednesday that investors now doubt whether theeuro zone can overcome its debt crisis and Italy's Silvio Berlusconi called for more action to ward off market attacks."
Growth hampered by skilled worker shortage (Canada)
Fundamentals in place for gold to finish 2011 at $1750 (Forbes)
Gold to hit $2,000 before year end (Telegraph)
Avoid Disaster, Get Out of U.S. Assets: Peter Schiff
Asia-Pacific Bloodbath Begins, Expect Europe to Follow Suit
Global airline earnings fall in Q2 amid oil price rises
Brazil throws $25 bln lifeline to sagging industry
Market's major trend now down: Moving average break marks bear's arrival (MarketWatch)

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
West's Mid-Life Crisis Points to Power Shift East
"The world's industrialized nations, burdened with aging populations and deeply in debt, face years of slow economic growth that could speed the shift of economic clout to the East."
Under fire in drug war, Mexico's media falls silent
Military officer becomes Iran's new oil minister
"Iran's parliament approved President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's candidate as oil minister on Wednesday, putting a military commander who is under U.S. and EU sanctions in charge of oil and gas in one of the world's biggest crude producers."
U.S. Doubles Down on Afghan Air War; 650 Strikes in July
East Asia's top 5 island disputes
Race for oil heats up territorial disputes in the South China Sea
Japan defense white paper calls China 'overbearing'
"High-handed" is a better translation of the Japanese term. -- RF
US prepares for worst-case scenario with Pakistan nukes
"As U.S.-Pakistani relations spiral downward, the specter of a showdown between the increasingly antagonistic allies is garnering more attention, including the worst-case scenario of the U.S. attempting to 'snatch' Pakistan's 100-plus nuclear weapons if it feared they were about to fall into the wrong hands."
Norway Spreading: Luxembourg Under Bomb Alert Lock Down
Rust never sleeps, but it's very expensive
Although this article is military-related, it's another symptom that industrial civilization is literally rusting away. -- RF
Saudi economic power might be more fragile than it looks
"Saudi Arabia's economic power is more fragile that it looks. High energy inefficiency and public sector spending are two trends which, left unchecked, will start eating into the kingdom's petrodollar reserves within a decade."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
China taxi drivers strike for third day, some return to work
Karachi violence rages, Malik warns
Pakistan deploys hundreds of extra troops to tackle Karachi violence
Fear stalks Chinese residents in Kashgar after attacks
Five on bail after attack on kebab shop (UK)
'Flash robs': Are they the race riots of the Internet age?
Ottawa police fear 'flash robs' on the rise
Not only Arab countries in turmoil; protests wrack Israel
Saudi Arabia defies Middle East upheaval
"Saudi Arabia is leading a counter-revolution against the sweeping political changes in the Middle East by using money, force and God."

## Energy/resources ##
US cotton crop: 40% rated poor/verypoor
Obsolete Expertise and the US Economy's Energy Problem
Another eye-opening observation from Gregor Macdonald. -- RF
Holidaymakers hit by even higher fuel prices in Europe than in Britain
Rare earth monopoly China to further tighten exports
Mena water supply forecast to halve by 2050
Fuel Shortage Hampers Industrial Growth (Indonesia)
U.S. Growth Fears Push Crude Oil Futures Close to Five Week Low
A warning for shale gas investors
"Recent reports of an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into whether shale gas companies are overstating their gas reserves highlights the challenges investors face in navigating this emerging sector."

## Got food? ##
All set for wheat prices to skyrocket again
Build a Root Cellar: A Complete Guidebook

## Environment/health ##
New Study Shows Negev Solar Farm is a Death Knell for Wildlife

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Report identifies widespread cyber-spying
"A leading computer security firm has used logs produced by a single server to trace the hacking of more than 70 corporations and government organizations over many months, and experts familiar with the analysis say the snooping probably originated in China."
Suspicious traffic spike crashes LG U+ phone data network crash (Korea)
Pentagon to monitor social networking sites for threats
Hackers in demand at US government agencies
6 Creepy New Weapons the Police and Military Use To Subdue Unarmed People

## Japan ##
Tepco Reports Second Deadly Radiation Reading at Fukushima
Hundreds of farmers protest outside TEPCO's Tokyo headquarters
Alcoholism, suicides rising among farmers hit by nuclear crisis
No. of heatstroke cases reaches record in July
NISA linked to other faked support for nuclear power
High price of watermelons may put favorite fruit beyond reach
NTT Data reports 39% net profit fall
Warming up, dressing down, saving power
Strong yen bites into manufacturers' profits
Japan to make 'all-out' efforts to fight surging yen: Noda
Survey: Makers to keep buying parts overseas, hollowing out of industry feared
"Forty-two percent of the manufacturers that switched to foreign suppliers after the March 11 earthquake plan to continue purchasing parts and materials from abroad, according to an industry ministry survey."
Metro Tokyo to build gas-fired power plant to combat energy shortage fears

## China ##
Exclusive: China mulls new regulator for state financial sector
Economists predict higher inflation in July's data
Cull of 30,000 pet dogs ordered after deadly rabies outbreak in Chinese city

## UK ##
MPs warn cuts will limit UK armed forces capability
13,000 Brits stuck abroad after holiday firm collapses
Salmonella superbug on the rise
Sellafield plant set to cut 600 posts

## US ##
Why the US Debt Limit Agreement is Only a Temporary Solution
U.S. Economy Running at 'Stall Speed'
Job Cuts Rocket Higher 60%, As Economy Implodes
Gov't will borrow $72B in debt auctions next week
Gross US Debt Surges By $240 Billion Overnight, US Debt To GDP Hits Post World War II High 97.2%, Official Debt Ceiling Increase Only $400 Billion
"Sudden And Unexpected" Burst Of Downsizing Causes Layoffs To Explode Nearly 60% In July
Job cuts by the thousands (CNN Money video)
Companies are literally downsizing themselves into profitability. -- RF
Commercial-Mortgage Late Payments Increase to Record in July
"Late payments on commercial mortgages bundled and sold as bonds rose the most in more than 12 months, adding to concern that the market is deteriorating three years after the financial crisis choked off funding to borrowers."
College loans for life
Fewer cops, more potholes: How debt deal could hit states hardest
US of Austerity: What $570 Billion Cuts Will Do to Our Water, Air, the Jobless, Children, the Elderly, and the Poor
JP Morgan Cuts Q3 GDP To 1.5% From 2.5%, Sees Unemployment Rate At 8.9% By End Of 2012
Recession Fears Revived As Economic Data Point To Critically Weakened Growth
Unemployment Rose in Nearly All US Cities
STUDY: 25% Of Drivers Can't Afford A Major Repair
Mansfield street light shutoff plans shaping up
Durable Goods Orders Sink 2.1%, Non-Defense Orders Sink 4.1%
U.S. Service Industries Expanded Less Than Forecast in July
"Service industries expanded in July at the slowest pace since February 2010 as orders and employment cooled, a sign the biggest part of the U.S. economy had little momentum entering the second half."
Russian Billionaires Buy in U.S. as Mansions Lure Wealth

And finally... Internet Explorer IQ story 'was a hoax'

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