Sunday, December 18, 2011

 

News Links, December 19, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Trade finance drying up amid financial crisis
"Trade finance is drying up amid the financial crisis, threatening jobs and economic growth, trade sources warned Saturday."
Lufthansa Cargo China near tipping point - CEO
"Hong Kong-based competitor Cathay Pacific has said that continued weak demand for air freight in China and Hong Kong pushed its cargo throughput down 17.5 percent in October from a year earlier."
Eurozone to push on with crisis steps, Fitch doubts outcome
European Finance Ministers to Discuss Crisis
Is Britain About To Scuttle The Last Ditch "Plan Z" European Bailout?
Liquidation of Customer Stored Gold and Silver Bullion From MF Global
"Obviously holding unallocated gold and silver in a fractional reserve scheme is subject to much more counterparty risk than many might have previously admitted."
Greek woes drive up suicide rate to highest in Europe
Hungary Economic Confidence Drops to Two-Year Low in December
"Hungary's economic sentiment index dropped to a two-year low in December as the outlook for businesses and consumers deteriorated."
World's richest Arabs see wealth jump 5% in downturn

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
'Accusing Iran of 9/11 echoes Iraq scenario' (RT video)
The Globalization of War: The "Military Roadmap" to World War III
Syria nearer to sign Arab plan, crackdown continues
Analysis: Iraq resumes political strife in vacuum left by U.S.
"Within hours of the last U.S. troops rolling out of Iraq on Sunday, Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki had asked parliament to sack his Sunni deputy, and security sources said an arrest warrant was issued for the Sunni vice president."
U.N. seeks $447 million for Yemen, Gulf Arabs urged to help more
"The United Nations appealed on Sunday for nearly $450 million in humanitarian aid for conflict-torn Yemen to save it from becoming what one U.N. official called 'another Somalia.'"
Zardari about to leave Dubai for Pakistan: spokesman
Taiwan Receives Two U.S. Early Warning Aircraft

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Rebel China villagers demand elections, turn to central leaders
"Protesting Chinese villagers on Sunday demanded that central leaders defuse grievances about what they called crooked land deals and a suspicious death, as a revolt that has tested Communist Party authority in this semi-rural area neared its second week."
Chinese Village Plans More Protests
Security forces, protesters clash again in Cairo
"Protesters and security forces fought in Cairo on Sunday, the third day of clashes that have killed 10 people and exposed rifts over the army's role as it manages Egypt's promised transition from military to civilian rule."
Bid to evict St Paul's protest camp begins at high court
50 arrested as Occupy Wall Street tries to seize church lot for new camp
Protesters Camp Out at Obama Headquarters, Talk 'Occupy Caucus' Plans
Medvedev admits Russia needs reform as protesters plan further rallies
Kazakh Zhanaozen oil unrest spreads to regional capital

## Energy/resources ##
Korea ups fight against electricity shortage
"Local banks and companies were joining the government's power-saving crusade as freezing weather gripped Korea on Friday, sparking fears of a supply shortage."
Tar sands have trouble 'getting to market' – new report
No fuel for government cars! (Swaziland)

## Got food? ##
Gandhi Bill Strains India's Finances to Give Cheap Food to Nation's Poor
Broad swath of northern Africa faces food shortages, experts warn
Global water shortage imminent, warn experts
Grain giant cautions over wheat and corn prices
Shortage in cattle, expect high beef prices (US)

## Environment/health ##
A Closer Look At The Staggering Ecological Cost Of Russia's Oil Industry

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Singapore train breakdowns douse Christmas cheer
"Singapore, which prides itself on efficiency, was hit by its third train breakdown in a week on Saturday, frustrating the public on one of the biggest shopping days of the year and adding to calls for a review of its public transport system."

## Japan ##
Kansai Electric to start power-saving measures Monday
"Kansai Electric said in a statement that the measures are necessary to avert power shortages this winter because 10 of the utility's 11 reactors are off-line for maintenance and checks."
Japan Government Eyes FY2012 Budget Of Just Over JPY90 Trillion Kyodo
"The government is considering allocating about JPE22 trillion yen toward debt- servicing costs."
Japan will find it increasingly necessary to sell debt abroad, which will almost certainly entail paying higher yields. Even a 2% rise on 10-year bonds would soak up most government tax revenues. -- RF
Effects of rare earth curbs spreading
"China's curbs on exports of rare earths, which are essential for manufacturing high-tech products, are being felt more and more by Japanese manufacturers."
Disaster-hit areas face revenue drop
"Three quake-hit prefectures and 33 coastal municipalities in those prefectures are expected to see about 100 billion yen less in tax revenue than they initially projected for this fiscal year, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey."
TEPCO faces tough challenges after 'cold shutdown' of Fukushima nuclear reactors
"'We can't see the whole picture when it comes to the cost of decommissioning the nuclear reactors. We can't imagine expenses spanning 30 to 40 years from now,' said a senior official of Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)."
Few believe assertion that Fukushima crisis is over
"In a rush to fulfill a pledge to the international community to bring the accident at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant under control, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda may have jumped the gun in his announcement on Dec. 16 declaring the crisis is over.
"Noda's declaration has been met with skepticism both in Fukushima Prefecture and abroad, with even some members of his own ruling Democratic Party of Japan criticizing it as 'fiction.'"
Hundreds of trillions of becquerels of radioactive strontium leaked into sea
"At least 462 trillion becquerels of radioactive strontium have leaked to the Pacific Ocean since the March disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant, making it one of the world's most severe such cases of marine pollution, according to calculations by The Asahi Shimbun."

## China ##
China Debts Dwarf Official Data With Too-Big-to-Complete Alarms
There's a lot of really bad news here. -- RF
China's November Home Prices Post Worst Performance This Year Amid Curbs
The No. 1 Problem of the Chinese Economy (Gordon Chang)
"At the moment, China's volatile economy is sinking fast."
China Cuts U.S. Debt Holdings
"The Chinese government reduced its holdings of U.S. Treasury bonds to its lowest level on the year by $14.2 billion in October."

## UK ##
Bonfire of the generals as 'top heavy' MoD cuts jobs

## US ##
The rot of decomposing housing stock threatens Cleveland and its neighbors
50 Economic Numbers From 2011 That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe
Drug shortages hit an all-time high
Shortage of commercial, independent truck drivers
"Since 2008, there has been a shortage of about 150,000 truck drivers in the United States and that number is expected to double next year, according to the Truckload Carrier's Association."
HMC hospitals to close; nearly 1,000 jobs lost (Hawaii)
As Wars End, Young Veterans Return to Scant Jobs




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