Saturday, January 21, 2012


News Links, January 22, 2012

## Global economic meltdown ##
Greece's creditors leave Athens, talks to continue
"Chief negotiators for Greece's private creditors left Athens on Saturday without a deal on a debt swap plan that is vital to avert a chaotic default, sources close to the negotiations told Reuters."
Greek bond deal won't fix Athens' debt woes
"But the financial lifeline from European officials comes with painful conditions that include more spending cuts and tax increases. That will likely plunge the Greek economy even deeper into recession. Greece's economy has already shrunk 13 percent from its pre-crisis peak. Unemployment is at record highs. Frequent protests and strikes against austerity measures have further deepened the economic contraction."
Greek Debt Talks Stall, More Negotiations "By Phone" Later Today; IMF Germany Think 4% Coupon Too High; Greek Haircut Calculator
Germany's Westerwelle Says Financial 'Firewall' Needed to Stem Debt Crisis
Vietnam Inflation Slows to 17.27%
How the rise of the megacity is changing the way we live

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
After threats, Iran plays down U.S. naval moves
"Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps said on Saturday it considered the likely return of U.S. warships to the Gulf part of routine activity, backing away from previous warnings to Washington not to re-enter the area."
France's Sarkozy: Military strike on Iran would trigger Middle East war (Haaretz)
Scores killed in terrorist attacks in Nigeria
Libya and the NTC - 12,000 U.S Troops to Libya
One Mexican State Bordering The US Was Deadlier Than All of Afghanistan Last Year
Putin meets Kissinger on global issues, bilateral ties
Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood Wins In Landslide

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Libya: Protesters Storm Transitional Government Headquarters
"Hundreds of angry Libyans on Saturday stormed the transitional government's headquarters in the eastern city of Benghazi, carting off computers, chairs, and desks while the country's interim leader was still holed up in the building."
Syria blasts kill 14, Arab monitors may stay
Over 100,000 rally in Hungary to back govt in EU row
"More than 100,000 people rallied Saturday in a show of support for the embattled Hungarian government, as it prepares to compromise in a bitter row with the European Union to secure a vital loan."
Occupy London protesters take over fifth London site
Severe electricity cuts give rise to protests across country (Lebanon)
"Severe electricity cuts fueled several protests Friday as residents and lawmakers staged a sit-in in the mountain town of Aley and small groups of protesters blocked roads in the south of the country. Civil society groups and local officials from the districts of Aley and Upper Metn gathered near Aley's Serail to protest severe power cuts and inadequate supplies of diesel in the region."
Anger grows over shortage of essentials (Kashmir)
"The public reaction against shortage of essentials is growing severe with reports of anti-Government protests from various places."

## Energy/resources ##
China Cuts December Gasoline Exports, Imports More Diesel Before Holiday
"China cut gasoline exports to the lowest level in almost three years in December and diesel imports reached their 2011 high as fuel was stockpiled to meet increased demand for transport around the Lunar New Year break."
Diesel thirst fueling exports, pressuring prices (US)
Wind turbines are blowing communities apart, farm group says (Canada)
"Ontario should suspend awarding further contracts for large wind turbines, the province's biggest farm organization says.
"'It's tearing rural communities apart, so farmers can't do what they do best, which is grow food,' OFA president Mark Wales said in an interview."
Water revolution looming, author says
Like Fracking? You'll Love 'Super Fracking'
Brazil Oil: China's Growing Role
"Brazil has surpassed Venezuela as Latin America's largest exporter of oil to China."
The natural gas glut is reshaping electricity markets
The glut will have a highly disruptive effect, especially since it won't last. -- RF
U.S. Wind-Farm Boom Set to Bust in 2013 as Obama Tax Breaks End
Polysilicon Prices Hit Record Low in 2011
How to Choose the Right Woodstove
Australian Peaky Leaks goes mainstream
Blackout hits five regions (Ghana)
Ont. refineries affected by power outage
Gas station owners face uncertainty (Virgin Islands)
Search for oil – and engineers

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Manchester Cathedral at the mercy of God over metal thefts
"There have been so many metal thefts at Manchester Cathedral that it can no longer claim on its insurance policy."

## Got food? ##
Sugar shortage looms as retailers start rationing (Malawi)
Use of Corn for Fuel in U.S. Is Increasing Prices Globally, FAO Chief Says
Indonesia Seeks 10 Million Ton Domestic Rice Crop Increase, Suswono Says
Urban gardens: The future of food?

## Environment/health ##
Overflowing sewage water woes force Jeddawis to dig wells (KSA)
"A number of residents of Jeddah, who are desperate to find solutions to the problem of the overflowing sewage water following what they called the empty promises from the concerned officials, have found their own solution to the issue, although only temporary.
"They have started digging surface wells near their houses to collect the leaking sewage water, Al-Madinah reported Friday quoting a number of Jeddah residents."

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
What if Internet went down?
"If a day without Wikipedia was a bother, think bigger. In this plugged-in world, we would barely be able to cope if the entire Internet went down in a city, state or country for a day or a week."
Network outage crimps work of Va. state police
"Virginia State Police say a computer network outage left them unable for several hours to perform such routine tasks as running fingerprints, conducting background checks and registering sex offenders...
"It was the latest in a rash of sporadic outages to hit a state computer system."
Power failure takes down Zoho
"The Web site and office tools of online services company Zoho were knocked offline Friday by a power outage in its data center."
Hundreds Without Phone Service after FiberNet Outage
Senate told; seven airports closed on low traffic, suspension of PIA flights (Pakistan)

## Japan ##
Plan calls for TEPCO to be nationalized for at least 10 years
"The operator of Japan's crippled nuclear power plant will be effectively nationalized for at least 10 years under a plan to provide it with money to fund compensation payouts, a report said Saturday."
Water falling like rain inside N-reactor
Oil Shipments Bound for Japan Increase 12%, Tanker Data Show

## China ##
China's Oil Imports from Iran Jump
China Hedges Mideast Oil Bets Amid Iran Tensions

## UK ##
Ofcom switches off Iranian broadcaster Press TV
Ministry of Defence faces £2 billion more cuts

## US ##
Stark Choice for Lawyers— Firms Must Merge or Die
"Business is slow. Clients demand discounts. And top partners are being poached by rivals. For many law firms, these factors have created a stark choice: Merge or die."
City Libraries to Reopen Mondays (Chicago)
"After shutting down library branches on Mondays earlier this month, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Saturday that he planned to re-open them on Monday afternoons for most of the year and all day on Mondays when schools are not in session."
NYPD can look through clothes for hidden guns, top cop says
Army report: Suicide rate sets record; some alcohol abuse up 54 percent
Housing & American Health (CNBC video; increases in foreclosures = increases in hospitalization)
Pentagon Directing More Military Aid to Eastern Europe

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