Thursday, January 19, 2012


News Links, January 20, 2012

## Global economic meltdown ##
Money Supply Figures Suggests Italy Headed Into Depression; Non-Performing Spanish Loans Hit 134 Billion Euros, 7.51% of All Loans, Highest in 17 Years; Eurozone Unemployment Charts
Momentum to drain from world economy in 2012: poll
Japan disaster turned 2011 into record year for losses
"Economic losses from disasters around the world in 2011 totaled a record $366 billion due mainly to the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, according to a United Nations report released Wednesday."
The World Continues Preparations for the End of the Global Dollar-Based Ecosystem (Financial Sense)
Hedge Funds May Sue Greece If Loss Forced
Fed's Latest Easing Could Cost $1 Trillion: Economists
"The Federal Reserve is likely to step in with $1 trillion worth of easing that could be announced as soon as this month, according to a growing consensus of economists who see the recent uptick in economic growth as unsustainable."
Australian Banks Brace for Leaner Times
Barclays says chequebook still open for debt-laden Dubai
Large Nations Consider Economic IMF Aid as Smaller Ones Collapse

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Russia says will stand firm with China on Syria
"Russia will offer Washington no explanation for arms deliveries to Syria and together with China will prevent the U.N. Security Council from approving any military intervention in the conflict-torn nation, its foreign minister said on Wednesday."
Syria's Muslim Brotherhood tells world to isolate Assad
Iran's UN Ambassador Says Closing Strait of Hormuz Is an Option
Iran warns neighbours not to join isolation attempts
Israel says ... Iran isn't building a nuclear weapon
Top U.S. general in Israel to discuss Iran's nuclear program
"The top U.S. general, visiting Israel at a delicate and dangerous moment in the global standoff with Tehran, is expected to press for restraint amid fears that the Jewish state is nearing a decision to attack Iran's nuclear program."
Exclusive: New U.S. Commando Team Operating Near Iran
U.S. To Israel: Give Iranian Sanctions A Chance
Iran Could Hold U.S. Attention in Middle East for Decades
Operating from Range to Defeat Iran's Anti-Access and Area-Denial Threats
"Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the U.S. military has been able to project power overseas with few serious challenges to its freedom of action. This 'golden era' for U.S. power projection may be rapidly drawing to a close."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protesters try to disrupt showpiece Bahrain Air show
"Anti-government protesters tried to disrupt the Bahrain airshow on Thursday, burning tires which sent up columns of smoke as the authorities attempt to show life is returning to normal in the troubled Gulf kingdom."
'Unemployed graduates' set themselves alight in Morocco
"Five unemployed Moroccan men set themselves on fire in the capital Rabat as part of widespread demonstrations in the country over the lack of jobs, especially for university graduates, a rights activist said Thursday. Three were burned badly enough to be hospitalized."
Anger over plans to restart Japan's nuclear plants
"'Shame on you, shame on you,' shouted protestors, as officials met to discuss plans to restart Japan's nuclear plants for the first time since last year's Fukushima disaster."
Students in Nepal burn tires, block roads to protest fuel price increases

## Energy/resources ##
With Gas so Cheap and Well Drilling Down, Why is Gas Production so High? (Post Carbon)
"So, despite vocal industry proponents to the contrary, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Growing, or even maintaining, U.S. oil and gas production will require an increasing level of inputs in terms of the number of wells drilled, the footage drilled, the capital investments required, and, likely, the large amounts of collateral environmental damage incurred."
A good read in that it mostly sidesteps the environmental issues and concentrates on inputs. -- RF
Oil rig arrives for Cuba offshore exploration work
Bulgaria Bans Gas Fracking, Thwarting Chevron Drilling Plan
Fuel costs, weak euro compound Europe's troubles
"Euro prices for gasoline, diesel reach record high"
Fuel crisis continues despite government's claims of breakthrough (Egypt)
Shortage of coal to worsen power woes (India)

## Got food? ##
Russia Restarts Grain Purchases for Government Reserves
European Commission Aims to Cut Food Waste 50 Percent by 2020

## Environment/health ##
Study Finds that Childhood Leukemia Rates Double Near Nuclear Power Stations
British pharmacy chain announces roll-out of new smart pills loaded with microchip

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Internet SOPA/PIPA Revolt: Don't Declare Victory Yet
Anonymous strikes back after feds shut down piracy hub Megaupload

## Japan ##
Tepco Drills a Hole in Fukushima Reactor … Finds that Nuclear Fuel Has Gone Missing
About that "cold shutdown"... -- RF
Scientists say they can find melted reactor fuel
Japan Asks U.S. To Exempt Domestic Banks From Iran Sanctions
"Japanese negotiators on Thursday urged the U.S. to exclude domestic banks from any penalties related to the Iranian oil sanctions, citing a potentially debilitating impact on the nation's economy."
Oi plant gets initial NISA restart nod
"The Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency has tentatively approved two idled reactors at Kansai Electric Power Co.'s Oi power plant in Fukui Prefecture as safe to restart but had a hard time submitting the draft to nuclear experts because of hours of interference from protesters."
Welfare ministry to make new poverty index
"The welfare ministry has decided to create a new poverty index in response to the sharp increase in the number of people living on welfare benefits and problems related to the working poor, it has been learned."

## UK ##
Hague to 'uphold UK sovereignty' over Falklands

## US ##
Gas Tax Hike Debated In Virginia, Iowa As Revenues Disappoint
Wall Street Job Cuts December 2011: Financial Industry Shed 2,000 Jobs Last Month
Army Foresees Expanded Use of Drones in U.S. Airspace
Public Employees Fight To Retain Shrinking State Pensions
Southwest May Delay Expansion Until 2014 With Oil Near $100
30-year fixed-rate mortgage hits record low
Panetta, Aerospace Executives To Talk Industrial Base
The extent to which war underpins the industrial base cannot be underestimated. -- RF
Americans Anti-Big Business, Big Gov't (Gallup)
The Nine American Cities Nearly Destroyed by the Recession
Cargo Theft Reaches Record High in 2011

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