Thursday, December 29, 2011


News Links, December 30, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Italy seeks bigger euro fund after tough debt sale
European Credit Crunch Hits Broad Economy As M3, Private Loans Collapse
Euro crisis putting the hurt on ethylene production
"Production of ethylene, a material used in a variety of products such as plastics and synthetic fibers, has started to fall at petrochemical complexes.
"This signals that the European sovereign debt crisis is beginning to spread to emerging economies and that it will cause production declines around the world."
China to Withdraw Support for Foreign Investment in Autos; Three Reasons China Will Not Be a Boon to Global Auto Sales
Report: Every third child in Israel lives below poverty line
Euro Declines to Decade Low Versus Yen on ECB Loans, Italy Debt
More than 1 million children ages 10 to 14 still forced by poverty to work in Brazil
2012 will be a year of austerity for India – so be prepared
American Airlines Shares To Be Delisted In 2012
Jim Rogers: Little Reason for Optimism in Anything but Agriculture
Spanish Drugmakers See Austerity Reducing Sales 15% as Rajoy Readies Cuts
Summarizing 2011 In Nine Easy Charts
Slow recovery for swamped factories in Thailand

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Next Year's Wars (Foreign Policy)
Iran warns U.S. over Strait of Hormuz
War Imminent in Straits of Hormuz? $200 a Barrel Oil?
U.S. Warships Cross Hormuz Despite Iran Threats
China urges stability in Strait of Hormuz
Iran claims US warship patrolling waters near Strait of Hormuz
"A showdown between Iran and the United States over Tehran's threats to close the strategic Strait of Hormuz to oil tankers worsened on Thursday with warships from each side giving weight to an increasingly bellicose exchange of words."
Former Shell Oil CEO: Iran Threats Could Be Valid (CNBC video)
Strait of Hormuz standoff continues as Iran films US aircraft carrier
"Iran claimed to have successfully taken surveillance footage of a US aircraft carrier near the Strait of Hormuz today as both countries raised the stakes in their standoff over the critical oil route."
Iran adept at chipping away at bigger enemies, analysts say
"Iran has been steadily increasing its capability to fight 'asymetric warfare,' which favors using small raids and hit-and-run tactics to help even the odds when a weaker foe is fighting a larger rival."
Iran Much In Mind As U.S. Wraps Up $30B Sale Of Fighters To Saudi Arabia
Argentina adopts wide definition of terrorism
"Argentina enacted a law on Wednesday providing a wide definition of terrorism that critics fear will allow the state to jail people for up to 15 years for activities as diverse as marching in protests or pulling money out of banks."
Egypt police raid U.S.-based pro-democracy groups
Church bombings are declaration of war, say Nigerian Christians
Either Your Phone Plays Taliban Ringtones, or You Die
"The growth in Taliban ringtones is a sign that after 10 years of war and a surge of U.S. troops, the U.S. and its allies still don't control Afghanistan's countryside. The big brains at Darpa even set up a quasi-intelligence program, called Nexus 7, to suss out the war's progress by studying obscure metrics like the stability of fruit prices. But you don't need Nexus 7′s spreadsheets and data sets to know that if Afghans have to pose as Taliban sympathizers, you're losing."
US pushes ahead with arms deal to Iraq
"Deal including $11bn worth of advanced fighter jets and tanks comes with Iraq mired in worsening political crisis."
U.S. Base in Kyrgyzstan 'Very Dangerous': President
"Kyrgyzstan's new leader said Dec. 29 that it was "very dangerous" for his Central Asian nation to host a U.S. military base at Bishkek airport and that it must become a fully civilian airport by 2014."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Five Occupy protesters arrested at Paul's Iowa campaign HQ
In Iowa, Occupy prepares to occupy the caucus
Fredericton's Mayor gives Occupy protesters until New Year's Day to leave camp (Canada)
Occupy LA protesters plan presence at Rose Parade
Protest / The tectonic plates beneath Israel are shifting
Arab League monitors stoke anti-government protests in Syria
Thousands strike work in latest industrial unrest in China
China: Eight killed in police- militants clashes
Greek tax officials go on strike over austerity measures

## Energy/resources ##
Turkey gives Russia green light to build South Stream gas pipeline
Oh, Canada's Become a Home for Record Fracking
Indefinite gas shutdown notices issued to industries in Gujranwala (Pakistan)
Garment exports down on power shortage (Pakistan)
"The lingering energy shortage has virtually crippled the industry."
Yemen battling gas shortages
Fuel woes hit power sector (India)
Petrol shortage hits Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)
Fuel shortage deepens (Nepal)
"Shortage of petroleum products deepened in the market on Wednesday after Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC), citing fund crisis and low import, distributed fuel to the petrol pumps operated by the security agencies and Sajha cooperatives only."
Harare plunged into darkness (Zimbabwe)
"HARARE was last night plunged into darkness for close to three hours following a system disturbance that emanated from Zambia and affected the Kariba Power Station."
'Major incident' blacks out islanders (UK)
The Top 5 Smart Grid Disappointments of 2011
Rising Geopolitical Tensions Threaten Oil Supplies
Coal ship queue hits 60 at Newcastle Port in Australia

## Got food? ##
The good food news of 201
Shortage of basic food items hits consumption in 2011 (Venezuela)

## Environment/health ##
Elephant poaching: 'Record year' for ivory seizures
Taiwanese seas threatened by overfishing

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Power failure threatens phone, internet for 40,000 (Australia)
Verizon says fixed third December service outage
"Verizon Wireless said on Thursday that it had resolved an "issue" with its high-speed wireless network overnight, after its third widely reported problem in a month."
Hacked Stratfor security think tank keeps site offline
Boycott of GoDaddy over SOPA bill a barometer of Internet politics

## Japan ##
Growth of all-electric houses slowed down
Japan to Double Sales Tax to Reduce Debt
Gov't request for nuclear storage facility site sends shockwaves through Fukushima
Okinawans protest base environment assessment after gov't sneaks it in under darkness
Quake-Induced Bankruptcies Top 500
Japan-India agreements aimed at countering China

## China ##
Funds Expect Surge of Bad Loans in China (FT via CNBC)
Property market in crisis
LG Display China Strike Ends as Fresh Labor Protest Reported
China Stocks to Drop on 'Pretty Bleak' Economy: Chart of the Day
Chinese citizens sent to mental hospitals to quiet dissent
China asks major energy users to save 250 million tonnes coal

## UK ##
Clegg Warns Of Further Austerity For UK
Elderly care in England 'in crisis', charity warns
"The care of the elderly in England could be plunged in to 'absolute crisis' by the government's spending cuts, the head of a charity has warned."

## US ##
Must read: If Iran Moves, the USA Has No Plan for an Oil Interruption
"If we lose 2 million barrels per day, or ten percent for a protracted period of time, government crisis monitors say the chaos will be so catastrophic they cannot even model it. One government oil crisis source told me hours ago, 'We cannot put a price tag on it. If it happens, just cash in your 401k.'"
There's more poverty in America's suburbs than in the cities
The U.S. Is Busy Building Supercomputers, but Needs Someone to Run Them
"The U.S. is racing to build the world's biggest supercomputers, but there's still a missing component—scientists and engineers who know how to use them."
Crumbling infrastructure in metro cities such as Birmingham overwhelming residents, study finds
"Crumbling infrastructure in many of the nation's larger cities such as Birmingham are placing an unsustainable financial burden on populations unable pay for the rebuilding of key systems such as sewer and water, says a new research study from Michigan State University."
California Child Care Cuts Force Hard Choice On Parents
Sears closings: After store closures, little hope for a rebound
Is Sears Headed for Bankruptcy?
Chaos, Near Riot Ensues at Saks Shoe Sale
After One Month Respite, Pink Slips Are Flying Again

And finally... Rock Music Has Worst Year Ever

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