Wednesday, January 25, 2012


News Links, January 26, 2012

## Global economic meltdown ##
Angela Merkel casts doubt on saving Greece from financial meltdown
Angela Merkel rejects calls for increase in eurozone rescue fund
Hedge Funds Scramble to Unload Greek Debt
Roubini: Europe Needs 'Massive Monetary Easing'
Max Keiser interviewed for BBC: The sham and shame of Davos (video)
Asia to power world economy in 2012
"The Asian Development Bank chief says the global economic slowdown will affect Asia this year but the region will remain the economic powerhouse of the world, led by China, India and Indonesia."
South Korea Economy Grows at Slowest Pace in Five Quarters on Global Slump
Is the Carbon Bubble About to Pop?
"Internet, housing, banking, we have come across quite a few bubbles in the past decade, but now we are faced with the unfolding of possibly the biggest bubble of them all. The carbon bubble, created and sustained by the systematic over-valuation of carbon intensive firms and their assets."
More Reasons Why We are Reaching Limits to Growth
Jamaica launches emergency jobs initiative

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Even without Hormuz blockade, Iran has options
"Under pressure over its nuclear ambitions, Iran might never act on its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz but could retain enough tricks in its playbook to keep its enemies, shippers and global markets on edge."
EU Oil Embargo: Sanctions Benefit Iran's Revolutionary Guards (Spiegel)
Even if the gold-for-oil deal doesn't work out, overall the sanctions still seem to be backfiring. -- RF
IMF warns over risk of Iran oil price shock
"The IMF warned that if the West imposed financial sanctions on Iran, it would be tantamount to an oil blockade, and the shock to the market could be as bad as from Libya's revolution last year."
Blast destroys police station in north Nigeria
Is Nigeria to become Africa's next failed nation-state?
Torture and lawlessness as Libya "victory high" ends
Libyan government concedes to restive town's demands
GCC Nations to Withdraw Monitors, Push for UN Intervention Against Syria
Zetas are Mexico's 'largest drug gang', study says

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Two more Tibetans killed by Chinese forces after protests: group
Olympics organisers urged to ban tents for fear of Occupy-style protests (UK)
"The home secretary has vowed to clamp down on the threat of "encampment-style" protests within Olympic venues, urging organisers to ban ticket holders from bringing tents as a condition of entry."
Egyptian protesters say 'the revolution never went away'
Huge crowd gathers in Cairo to mark Egypt uprising, some call for new military rulers to go
Occupy protesters deliver icy verdict on Davos (CNN)
Police and fishermen clash in front of Italy's parliament buildings
"At least two people were injured Wednesday when police in Rome baton-charged a group of demonstrators who had thrown firecrackers at Italian parliament buildings to protest against fuel price and tax increases introduced by the country's technocratic government."
Students angry over fuel prices shut down Katmandu (Nepal)
"Students in Nepal have shut down the capital with a general strike to protest price increases for gasoline, diesel and cooking fuel."

## Energy/resources ##
Diesel consumption triples as gas supply disrupted (Israel)
High Oil Prices Taking Toll on Refiners
Instead of making money for refiners, high oil prices are driving them out of business. -- RF
The Peak Oil Crisis: On Closing Our Refineries (Tom Whipple)
Gas crisis stops power generation (Bangladesh)
Diesel cars guzzling 40% of segment's fuel: CSE (India)
Chinese Refinery in Chad Hits a Major Snag
Japan's Former Premier Takes Antinuclear Campaign to Davos
"Former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan returns to the world stage this week, part of a campaign to reinvent himself as a global antinuclear activist nearly a year after he oversaw his government's widely criticized handling of the Fukushima Daiichi accident."
Black Sea resources focus of Kiev talks
Obama Backs Natural-Gas Fracking to Add 600,000 Jobs, Vows Safe Drilling
Pyongyang faces worst electricity shortage in years
"With apartments built after the 1980s having central heating systems, the power shortage has resulted in heating being cut off from apartments in central Pyongyang, where many high-level officials live."
Oil price could rise 30% if Iran halts exports
UPDATE 3-S.Korea hikes Iran crude imports 20 pct in 2011
Article in Nature: "Oil's tipping point has passed"
Electricity Crisis Likely to Worsen as Bassil Calls for More Rationing in Beirut (Lebanon)

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Thieves seeking silver, brass and lead prey on churches (UK)
Metal thieves scrap entire Shorewood building (US)
"Thieves in the southwest suburbs apparently tore down an entire building to steal some scrap metal.
"Little is left of the building on Northwest Frontage Road near Shorewood."
Scrap metal thieves steal toilet parts from Amtrak station bathroom (US)

## Got food? ##
East Africa: Warning on Bio-Fuel Development Sounded

## Environment/health ##
Governments Worldwide Raise Acceptable Radiation Levels Based Upon Politics … Not Science
Electric grids survive solar storm
But they won't survive peak oil. -- RF

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Docomo services disrupted for 4 1/2 hours, affecting 2.52 mil users (Japan)
#McFail? McDonald's Twitter Campaign Gets Hijacked
4,114 Stoplights in Los Angeles and the Intricate Network that Keeps Traffic Moving

## Japan ##
IMF says Japan should raise consumption tax to 15%
3 major parties agree on civil servant 8% wage cuts
Elpida may gain life support as chips slump
"Elpida Memory Inc., facing a deadline to repay ¥93.5 billion in debt by April, may gain financial support for the second time in three years as the government seeks to keep the company alive amid a slump in the chip market."
Tepco rate hike would drive Kanto steelmakers into red: industry group
"Tepco's plan to hike electricity rates for businesses by 17 percent will likely drive some steelmakers into the red and result in them shifting production to other parts of the country, the head of an industry group said Wednesday."
Radioactive gravel tied to more prefabs

## China ##
Chinese sub fleet on high alert in South China Sea
China's Oil Demand Rises by 0.7% in December
"Hits monthly, yearly records despite slowing growth"
China's real estate bubble more overvalued than US in 2006
Don't Fall for This China Head Fake

## UK ##
UK economy shrinks by 0.2% in last three months of 2011
400 jobs at risk as Thamesteel steel firm enters administration
Steel giant Tata to axe 110 jobs
Manufacturing sector hit as orders fall
Scotland talks independence – but can it afford it?
Student outrage as university places are cut by 15,000

## US ##
Bernanke: More easing possible if economy weakens
"Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke signaled on Wednesday the central bank may consider further monetary easing, after the central bank announced interest rates would remain near zero until late 2014."
Housing data points to slowdown in sales
Reports: Pentagon budget calls for cutting Army brigades
The Empire continues to downsize its legions. -- RF
Ron Paul: Steadily, 'Our Numbers Are Growing' (NPR interview with Paul)
Chart of the Day: Apparel Import Data in Square Meters and Dollars; J.C. Penney's Slashes Prices on All Merchandise by "At Least 40%", Offers Every Day Low Pricing (Mish)
NYC Hotels Alex, Flatotel Face Foreclosure
The Right to Bear Arms: Over 10,800,000 Guns Sold in the USA in 2011
J.C. Penney Says 'No Sale': Cuts All Prices

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