Saturday, December 31, 2011


News Links, January 1, 2012

## Global economic meltdown ##
IMF: Greece will miss financial targets
"The International Monetary Fund in an official report said Greece's financial situation is worse than previously thought."
Angela Merkel Tells Germany She Will 'Do Everything' to Save Euro in 2012
$6.3 Trillion Wiped Off Global Markets in 2011
Foreign Central Banks Cut Treasury Holdings by Record
"Holdings of U.S. Treasurys by foreign central banks has fallen by a record amount over the past four weeks according to the latest Federal Reserve data."
Spain's Budget Minister says "Serious Budget Shortfalls in All 17 Autonomous Regions"; Primer Minister Announces $19.3 Billion Package of Tax Hikes; Cockroaches and the Theory of the Unexpected
PC Shortfall in 2012 Caused by HDD Shortages: IHS iSuppli
"The flooding in Thailand, which is causing shortages in HDD supplies, will mean 3.8 million fewer PCs shipping in the first-quarter 2012, IHS iSuppli analysts say."
2011 exposed big holes in supply chain
"Two natural disasters demonstrated how vulnerable the computer industry is to the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. Earlier in the year, the tsunami/earthquake in Japan disrupted multiple manufacturers, some of which are still trying to recover their operations. And floods in Thailand created a massive shortfall in hard drive production, the effects of which are still rippling through the PC supply chain."
The Global Slowdown And Its Implications
New Year's 2012 Shortages Forecast Worldwide, and Not Just Norwegian Butter: A New Yorker's Opinion

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military ##
Unaccountable Killing Machines: The True Cost of U.S. Drones
US seals deal to sell $3.48B in missiles, technology to UAE
"Sale is part of strategy to help friendly Mideast nations keep Iran in check"
Ron Paul: Iran Does Not Threaten Our National Security
Iran delays missile test, ready for nuclear talks
Nigeria president declares emergency in some of north
North Korea names Kim Jong-un top military commander
Power behind Kim Jong-un's throne: the 'Gang of Seven' emerges from the shadows
Iraq celebrates US exit: 'Dawn of a new day'
US Civilians Are Now Helping Decide Who To Kill With Military Drones
Mossad Chief: Iranian Nuclear Weapon Wouldn't Be Existential Threat

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people ##
Youth protesters, police clash across Bahrain
"Shi'ite youths chanting slogans against Bahrain's royal family clashed with riot police across the Gulf island kingdom Saturday, trying to block highways in a second day of protests, residents said."
Russian protesters arrested in Moscow rally
Syria: protesters rallied in record numbers across the country

## Energy/resources ##
Petroplus shuts 3 oil refineries as cash runs out
Huge power shortages, load shedding in 2012: Shortfall of power generation could cross 4500MW (Pakistan)
The Taps Have Run Dry (Cameroon)
Germany's Wind Power Revolution in the Doldrums
"The construction of offshore wind parks in the North Sea has hit a snag with a vital link to the onshore power grid hopelessly behind schedule. The delays have some reconsidering the ability of wind power to propel Germany into the post-nuclear era."
Oil price ending 2011 near $100 a barrel
Prices of essential goods continue to spiral up (Nepal)
Strike over CNG shortage, price hike cripples life in city (Pakistan)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Copper thieves darken streetlights, create road hazards
"Nighttime stretches of road across the USA are being left dark by the theft of copper wiring from streetlights, and police are investigating whether the darkness contributed to some crashes.
"Copper thieves also are hitting traffic lights. The problem is particularly acute for localities where the sour economy has already left coffers bare and officials cannot afford to replace the wiring."

## Got food? ##
State may face food shortage next year (Odisha, India)
Organic Milk: Rising Production Costs Cause Shortage (US)
"The main reason for the shortage is that the cost of organic grain and hay to feed cows has gone up dramatically while the price that farmers received for their milk has not."
Food Safety Disasters 2011: The Deadliest And Strangest Outbreaks Of The Year
Monsanto GMO Seeds Use to Further Expand Within US

## Environment/health ##
Norovirus outbreaks rise (UK)
Man dies of bird flu in southern China

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
U.S. court upholds telecom immunity for surveillance
SOPA opponents may go nuclear and other 2012 predictions
Crackpot Anti-Islam Activists, 'Serial Fabricators,' and the Tale of Iran and 9/11 (Gareth Porter)
"Behind a mysterious Dec. 22 Associated Press story about 'finding of fact' by a district judge in Manhattan Friday that Iran assisted al-Qaeda in the planning of the 9/11 attacks is a tapestry of recycled fabrications and distortions of fact from a bizarre cast of characters."

## Japan ##
Japan spent over 14 tril. yen on forex interventions in 2011
Number of new adults sinks to all-time low of 1.2 million

## China ##
China says rebel village was right to complain
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. -- RF
China to Make Yuan More Convertible: Central Banker
"China is not far from making the yuan convertible under the capital account, central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan was quoted as saying on Saturday in an interview with a local magazine."
Global economic crisis hits China's exporters
8 in 10 US-listed Chinese solar firms post losses

## UK ##
Jeremy Hunt rejects calls for 'austerity' Olympics
High street braces for wave of failures as La Senza closes 80 shops
"Analysts predict up to 40,000 could lose jobs as lingerie chain joins list of those struggling to contain their debts"
Younger earners leaning on debt relief
House prices will remain stagnant or fall in 2012, economists warn

## US ##
Darker Nights as Some Cities Turn Off the Lights (NYT)
Obama Signs Defense Bill Despite 'Serious Reservations'
30 Statistics That Show That The Middle Class Is Dying Right In Front Of Our Eyes As We Enter 2012
LA police hunt arsonist after 35 fires in Hollywood
US exports record amount of refined fuels
"U.S. refineries exported a record amount of refined fuels in 2011 to markets in South America, Central America and Europe. It was one reason why Americans spent a record amount on gasoline this year: Supplies that might have helped lower prices here had been shipped abroad."
Detroit churches face up to downsizing
After All Those Ups And Downs The Market Ended 2011 Right Where It Started
17 States Still Project Budget Deficits (It Will Get Much Worse); Moving Targets and the Slowing Global Economy
America's new poor (CNN Money video)
It was easy to promise everyone affluence when energy was cheap. -- RF
State revenue rises, but not enough to offset cuts

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