Tuesday, January 17, 2012


News Links, January 18, 2011

## Global economic meltdown ##
Eastern Europe May Need Funding Deal to Cushion Effect of Bank Asset Cuts
"Eastern Europe may require funds from the International Monetary Fund and other international lenders to pre-empt a banking crisis and a shortage of credit in the region's economies as western banks pare assets."
Prepare for a Meeting of "Monetary Cardinals" as Euro End-Game Nears; Sarkozy Falling Apart; "Hope Trade" in Extreme Overvaluation
Baltic Dry Index Slumps To Lowest Since January 2009
$10 TRILLION Liquidity Injection Coming? Credit Suisse Hunkers Down Ahead Of The European Endgame
Fitch Says Greece to Default, Believes Will Be Orderly
Britain's leading indicators down again
Analysis: Nigeria strife highlights Africa investment risks
South America Boom Backfiring With Complacency From Commodities
Global Gold Coin & Bar Demand Surges in 2011 - Thomson Reuters GFMS Annual Gold Survey
Decentralization Is The Only Plausible Economic Solution Left

## Fault lines/flashpoints/military/war drums ##
Explosive Words - US Media First to Bomb Iran (RT video; on how the US media beat the war drums)
U.N. nuclear monitors to visit Iran late Jan: report
"Senior U.N. nuclear officials will visit Iran on January 29-31, the Islamic state's envoy to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said on Tuesday."
Korea, U.S. Continue Talks on Iran Sanctions
"South Korea said it will continue bilateral discussions with the U.S. to find an acceptable compromise on sanctions against Iran's crude-oil exports, as the resource-poor country attempts to safeguard its energy security without alienating its key ally and trade partner."
Iraq militia says to keep weapons, citing instability
"A Shi'ite militia that fought U.S. troops in Iraq said Tuesday it will not lay down its arms immediately despite the departure of American forces.
"Abu Mustafa al-Khazali, one of the commanders of Kata'ib Hizballah, cited unstable Iraqi politics and uncertainty about the mission and size of the U.S. embassy in Baghdad as reasons for maintaining its war posture."
Why Russia is planning Iran war games
"Russia has reportedly ordered the military to plan war games to deal with potential spillover from a US-Iran conflict."
Obama: Syria violence unacceptable, government must leave
Bashar al-Assad to be driven from power within three months, says Syrian MP
North Korea's leader will not last long, says Kim Jong-un's brother
Sweden Proposes Common Nordic Air Space
Israeli Military Prepares for Massive Gaza Invasion 'Within Months'

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
'Occupy Congress' Protesters Swarm Capitol Hill To Represent The 99 Percent
Peace protesters avoid Parliament Square clearance (UK)
"The decade-long ambition of police and local officials to clear peace protesters from the area opposite the Houses of Parliament has remained unrealised, with an expanse of tents, placards and other structures still resolutely in place despite a night-time clearance operation."
Greek strikes greet debt inspectors
"Strikes and demonstrations over government cuts hit Athens today as international debt inspectors returned to continue examining the reforms."
Romanians Protest Hard Living Conditions after Entering European Union

## Energy/resources ##
Fuel shortage worsens as motorists queue for several days (Malawi)
"The fuel shortage crisis in Malawi worsened from last week with motorists queuing on dry pumps for days, an indication that there is no near solution to the crisis despite government's repeated promises to solve the problem."
Illegal fuel vending escalates (Malawi)
"Illegal fuel vendors are now plying their trade freely as the country continues to experience petroleum shortages, with most filling stations remaining dry for weeks."
Govt. urged to seek waiver on sanctions to get oil from Iran (Sri Lanka)
Oil Rises to Three-Day High as Saudi Arabia Is Seen Targeting $100 Crude
Petrol pumps dry up after prices are cut (Kenya)
Fuel shortage fears as refinery shuts (South Africa)
"South Africa's recent fuel supply problems could reoccur as the country's largest refinery, Sapref in Durban, has gone into full shutdown for unplanned repairs. It is expected to only be back in full production by mid-February."
Finance Ministry building in dark ages (Lebanon)
"It is hard to imagine how ordinary people cope with the relentless power cuts every day. But it is even harder to contemplate a vital government building experiencing three hours of electricity rationing. But such a situation is exactly what taxpayers, bearing invoices and documents, encounter when they flock to the Finance Ministry's revenue department on Beshara Khoury street only to find out that there is no electricity in the building."
Power cuts hit Istanbul, 6 Turkish provinces
Russia Drives Final Stake Through the Heart of the Nabucco Pipeline?
Electricity Declines 50% as Shale Spurs Natural Gas Glut: Energy
Uzbekistan's power crisis - why is there no heat and light?
"The majority of Uzbekistan's population are having a tough time this winter as the country's energy supply problems go from bad to worse. Unplanned power cuts and lengthy rolling blackouts have become everyday occurrences in almost every Uzbek neighbourhood."
Running on empty: Egypt's fuel crisis rumbles on
China 2011 Electric Power Output Growth Drops as Economy Slows

## Got food? ##
Russia expanding land under plow this year
Ethiopia forcing thousands off land to make room for Saudi and Indian investors
"Ethiopia is forcing tens of thousands of its poorest people off fertile land earmarked for Saudi Arabian and Indian investors and into villages lacking schools, clinics or clean water, a new report has claimed."

## Environment/health ##
Americans as fat as ever. Obesity rate stuck, CDC finds
Garbage piles up in 'green' Mexico City
Drought goes on in U.S. South
Eco-friendly car refrigerant 'turns into deadly gas it vehicle catches fire'
Commentary: Fracking gives me gas

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Cyberspat Erupts As Iran-Azerbaijan Relations Become Increasingly Strained
Wikipedia joins web blackout in Sopa protest
OpenDNS To Participate in Anti-SOPA Protests
Returning to Simplicity (Whether We Want to or Not) (Gregor Macdonald at Chris Martenson)
"What has begun to take place in global energy extraction is that the current tranche of resources obtained by more complex methods -- deepwater drilling, underground fracturing, in-situ mining, and other strip mining -- have begun to move towards the quadrant of Perrow's chart that is occupied by nuclear power and chemical plants. Here, systems are both technically advanced and tightly coupled, which is to say that failures anywhere in their operations can spread easily and cause systemic failure."
A good read. -- RF

## Japan ##
Tepco pushes April 1 17% business rate rise
Japan Continues To Buy EFSF Debt Despite S&P Downgrade
Building contamination spreads / Radioactive materials used to repair road and waterway in Fukushima
72% of graduating univ. students have job offers, 2nd worst on record
Ministry plans to enable real estate securitization

## China ##
Landmark shift: Majority of Chinese now live in cities
"Supply of cheap labor from rural to urban areas is dwindling, leading to speculation that wages will start to surge"
China Casts Increasingly Large Investment Shadow Over Southeast Asian Neighbors
China Construction Starts Slowed in 2011
"Growth in new construction starts in China last year decelerated sharply compared with a year earlier, another sign of distress in the country's real-estate sector amid the government's reluctance to relax its two-year-long sector-tightening campaign."

## UK ##
UK 'planning for eurozone collapse'
"The Government is undertaking "extensive contingency planning" in the event of a eurozone collapse, peers have been told."
MoD announces details of 4,200 job cuts

## US ##
Many Americans gave up hope last year – 2012 will be worse
"The chance of realising the American dream is receding for millions as jobs are lost, savings run out and houses are repossessed"
Treasury dips into pension funds to avoid debt
"The Treasury on Tuesday started dipping into federal pension funds in order to give the Obama administration more credit to pay government bills."
Americans keeping their autos longer than ever
Americans raid savings, putting recovery at risk
Strategic foreclosure: Why people are ditching their mortgages
Christie Calls for 10% Income-Tax Cut for N.J.

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