Saturday, December 24, 2011


News Links, December 25, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Greek provincial towns 'closing down' (BBC video)
Global shipping industry facing uncertain scenario ahead
"According to Mr Kenneth Glenn president of APL, the world's sixth largest container firm, shipping firms are operating in an unsustainable economic environment with prospects unlikely to improve much in 2012 due to high fuel prices, low freight rates and slowing demand."
Summarizing The Global Balance Sheet's Negative Feedback Loop Of Debt
4 out of 5 Australians Worry about Debt; New Reality - Owing More on Your Home Than You Own; Shocking Year for Corporate Collapses ; Merry Christmas to Those Down Under (Mish)
Russia's Unexpected Interest-Rate Decrease Signals Concern Over Economy
French Banks Won't Be Able To Handle Inevitable Italian Restructuring
Debt Squeeze Points to Biggest Restructuring Wave Since Lehman
Taiwan November Industrial Output Falls; Further Declines Expected
SMEs take a beating as industrial output falls (India)
Airlines cleared to use Santa's short-cut
"Hard-pressed airlines have been handed the perfect Christmas present: permission to fly twin-jet aircraft over the North Pole, saving millions on fuel costs, opening up new destinations and reducing damage to the environment."
Value of Saudi's delayed public projects hits $147bn

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Iran Navy Drill In International Waters Begins
Gulf Ministers to Weigh Options to Counter Possible Blockade
Iraq arrests four security officials following Baghdad bombings
"The Iraqi government has arrested four of its own security officers in connection with a devastating wave of car bombs that killed 65 and wounded more than 200 civilians in Baghdad on Thursday, Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki disclosed Saturday."
CIA Has Suspended Drone Attacks In Pakistan, U.S. Officials Say
Mourning Syrians rally for Assad, UN condemns bombs
"Funerals for 44 people killed in twin suicide car bombs in Damascus turned into a show of support for President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday, with thousands of mourners denouncing the United States and its Arab allies for interfering inSyria."
Kim Jong-un hailed by North Korean media as next leader
Nigerian Army Says 72 Dead in Fight With Militants Inspired by the Taliban
Iran bans trade finance on imports from UAE

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Airport road closed in gas shortage protest (Pakistan)
"Hundreds enraged at debilitating gas shortages set two armoured police vehicles alight and blocked the highway to Islamabad airport on Friday, witnesses said.
"The crowd, who also pelted police with stones, gathered at the main highway connecting the international airport to the capital city and blocked it for several hours for the second time in a week."
Uncertainty Haunts North Africa After Sweeping Unrest
Tens of thousands of protesters pressure Putin
Gorbachev urges Putin to step down after protests
Yemen forces fire in air as protesters demand Saleh
"Forces loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh fired in the air to stop tens of thousands of protesters, who are demanding he face trial, approaching his compound in the capital Sanaa on Saturday, witnesses said."
Greek strikers close Acropolis over Christmas
"Hundreds of tourists were barred from visiting the Athens Acropolis on Christmas Eve after the site's guards called a strike to demand overdue weekend pay."

## Energy/resources ##
Worst power crisis hits distribution system (Pakistan)
Northern Chile May Experience Power Cuts, Radio Bio-Bio Says
Gasoline May Rise Above $4 a Gallon as Northeast Plants Shut (US)
"Gasoline prices may rise above $4 a gallon next summer as refineries along the U.S. East Coast close, reducing fuel supply, said Edward Morse, New York-based head of commodities research at Citigroup Global Markets Inc."
The Falklands - Is There Oil?
Libya Says Oil Industry Recovers
Iran Oil Revenue Will Be $110 Billion This Year, Mehr Reports
Saudi Arabia Oil Loadings Slide 28%, Ship-Tracking Data Show
Global LNG Market Will Have Supply Shortage in 2014: Report
China Gorges on Europe's Energy Assets
All halt: Railways cancels another 16 passenger trains (Pakistan)

## Got food? ##
Water, power shortage hit rabi sowing in AP (India)
Food crisis threatens more than half Niger villages
Bugs should be for dinner

## Environment/health ##
Number of people missing after Philippines flood rises to over 1,000

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Top five cloud outages of 2011

## Japan ##
Redefining "Cold shutdown" doesn't hide the truth about Fukushima (Greenpeace)
¥50 billion budgeted for new nuke agency
Hey, nuclear power was supposed to be "too cheap to meter"! -- RF
Combined government debt poised to hit all-time high ¥937 trillion in 2012
Japan approves $1.16-trillion draft budget
Government uses sleight of hand to hide record budget
Japan set to ease arms export ban
"Defense Minister Yasuo Ichikawa said Saturday Tokyo plans to relax a decades-old ban on arms exports to allow Japanese firms to participate in multinational weapons development projects."

## China ##
Seeking to Circumvent Possible U.S. Trade Sanctions, China Buys Hawaiian Solar Company
Chinese fund gearing up for a spending spree
"China is set to add an extra $50bn (£31.8bn) to its sovereign wealth fund to make more rapid investments in Western businesses."
Trade Binds North Korea to China

## UK ##
Holidays fail to revive two U.K. retailers
Railway signallers start 72-hour strike
Warm - not white - Christmas as temperatures could beat Barcelona
Good news for those who can't afford to heat. -- RF
Archbishop of York attacks bankers' 'massive bonuses'
U.K. 10-Year Gilt Yield Declines Below 2% for First Time Amid Debt Crisis

## US ##
Fed Once-Secret Loan Crisis Data Compiled by Bloomberg Released to Public
Fracking Opens Fissures Among States
Squatters say foreclosed homes beat homeless shelters
"They may lack heat and a consistent water supply, but the vacant dwellings aren't as 'depressing,' as one New York mother puts it. Advocates say the number of squatters nationwide is rising."

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