Friday, January 27, 2012


News Links, January 28, 2012

## Global economic meltdown ##
Greek PM: Expect Debt Deal With Creditors Within Days
Greek Debt Wrangle May Pull Default Trigger
Fitch cuts Italy, Spain, other euro zone ratings
"Fitch downgraded the sovereign credit ratings of Belgium, Cyprus, Italy, Slovenia and Spain on Friday, indicating there was a 1-in-2 chance of further cuts in the next two years."
Spain unemployment tops 5.3m and set to get worse
Spain's Unemployment Situation Becomes Hopeless
Europe's Shrinking Banks in for Acute Pain
Europe Risks 'Balkanization' From Crisis: UK Chancellor
Portugal 10-Year Government Bond Yield at Record High
Portugal is Next After Greece
Why Europe's crisis can't be averted
'There Is No European Emergency Plan'
The Massive Debt Bomb: $7,600,000,000,000 Dollars Of Debt Must Be Rolled Over In 2012
Older consumers pile on new debt (Canada)
Ten Cities Crushed by the Global Recession

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
For Newt, 'World War III' Is Just the Beginning
"Newt Gingrich doesn't just want to lay waste to his political enemies and a large part of the news media. The former House speaker and presidential hopeful wants to bomb a significant part of the planet, too."
Iran moving closer to stage where it will be too late to destroy nuclear facilities, Israel warns
Israeli Finance Minister Pushes Naval, Aerial Blockade of Iran
The Iranian oil embargo: does this mean war?
Greece - Between Iran and a Hard Place
Syria violence has risen significantly, says Arab League mission chief
Syria crisis: UN Security Council mulls Assad measures
Mexico Launches New Offensive Against Cartel, Ratcheting Up Drug War

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
India Factory Workers Revolt, Kill Company President
China clamps down on budding Tibetan revolt
Tibetan student 'killed in third Sichuan, China clash'
Yemen's "parallel revolution" inspires street-level protests
Romanians take to streets in austerity winter
Occupy protest seizes UC Davis building, blocks bank
"Taking advantage of some extra patience on the part of administrators who came under heavy criticism for the pepper-spraying of demonstrators in November, student protesters on the UC Davis campus have seized control of a vacant campus building and are sporadically blocking access to an on-campus bank."
Feds to enforce no-camping rules Monday at Occupy D.C. sites
Protesters storm Syrian embassy in Cairo
"Dozens of pro-democracy protesters stormed the Syrian Embassy in Cairo Friday, breaking windows and ripping the Syrian flag before dispersing, officials said."
Nuclear foes defy order to remove tents from the grounds of METI (Japan)
"Antinuclear activists camping out at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry refused to take down their tents Friday despite an order to do so by 5 p.m."

## Energy/resources ##
Poll: Oil Markets Seen Withstanding Iran Attack
China hires at least two supertankers for Iranian oil
Iran Embargo May Speed Refinery Closures
"The European Union's embargo on Iranian oil threatens to accelerate refinery closures in Europe, the head of Italy's refiners' lobby said.
"'Asian countries not applying the embargo could buy the Iranian oil at a discount and sell cheap refined products back to us,' Piero De Simone, general manager of Unione Petrolifera, said in an interview in Rome yesterday. 'Italy already risks the closure of five refineries and at a European level we're talking about 70 possible shut downs.'"
Chevron Posts Biggest Profit Drop in Two Years on Refining
Halkbank to handle Iran payments so long as legal
"Turkish lender Halkbank will continue to handle customers' oil payments to Iran as long as they comply with international regulations, the bank's general manager said in the wake of fresh, unilateral U.S. and EU sanctions."
Iran oil embargo seen as a problem for South Africa
"(Xinhua) -- If South Africa follows the U.S. and the European (EU) by banning new contracts for crude oil and petroleum products from Iran, South Africa's oil refineries may have to carry out multimillion-rand reconfigurations, the Cape Argus newspaper in Cape Town reported on Thursday."
Total Stops Buying Oil from Iran, Questions Impact of Boycott
"French oil company Total (NYSE:TOT) has stopped buying oil from Iran, as ordered by new European Union sanctions. However, Chief Executive Christophe de Margerie is doubtful the sanctions will have much effect on Iran's sales or on oil prices, said a Reuters report."
Release of Oil Reserves Not in the Cards Now: IEA
S.Sudan sees oil shutdown complete by Saturday
Natural-gas output cuts grow as prices languish
"'Few companies can afford to drill for gas and produce it at these prices,' he elaborated, and 'most companies cannot break even drilling a new dry-gas well' at the current price levels."
Deloitte Report: The Era of Cheap Water is Over
U.S. to Lose Out Yet Again on Developing Cuba's Offshore Oil?
Poland Gives Green Light to Massive Fracking Efforts
Anti-nuclear movement growing in Asia
"Though nuclear power still has a strong foothold in Asia, anti-nuclear sentiment and protest are growing from Mongolia to South Korea to Taiwan and even - in modest ways - in China."
Islamabad still sees Iranian gas as option
Nigeria: Motorists in Sokoto Groan as Fuel Scarcity Bites Harder
5,000 megawatts shortage persists (Pakistan)

## Got food? ##
Peru's vanishing fish stocks 'devastated' by corruption and growing fishmeal demand
"Soaring global demand for fishmeal primarily for animal feed or fish farms, including salmon, is wrecking havoc on the once abundant fish stocks of the southern Pacific"
Monsanto Investor Bill Gates Says GMO Crops Needed to Fight Starvation
U.S. Cattle Herd Falls to Smallest Since 1952 as Drought Destroys Pastures
Beef prices hit record highs — and will keep on climbing
DIY, Low-cost and Multipurpose Greenhouses

## Environment/health ##
Space storm hits satellites, airlines; consumer GPS systems are safe

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
ACTA: The Corporate Usurpation of the Internet
Twitter to enable country-specific censorship

## Japan ##
Nintendo triples its loss forecast as sales lag
Japan CPI Declines, Creates Problems For BOJ
Experts cast doubt on Japan nuclear power plant stress tests
Chugoku Electric shuts Shimane No. 2 reactor, leaving Japan with only 3 reactors online
Summer power curbs said unlikely
Rising food prices on contamination fears
Japan to inject $12.9bn into Tepco (FT)
Tohoku Electric Forecasts Record Loss After March 11 Disaster
Trade deficit could be long-term
Pension benefits to be cut by 0.3% in FY12; more trims may follow

## China ##
EU to hold summit talks with China next month
"Top officials of the European Union will hold talks with Chinese government leaders in Beijing next month to seek funding to help the EU deal with the sovereign debt and financial crises in Europe, it was learned Wednesday."

## UK ##
The British economy is in worse shape than we thought
IMF head backs UK austerity measures
David Cameron in U-turn over fiscal policing of eurozone
"The prime minister has abandoned his pledge to block the eurozone from using common EU institutions to police a new regime of fiscal integration and stiff German-style rules for the embattled single currency."
Occupy protesters evicted from empty London office block

## US ##
US Postal Service 'Unsustainable' Situation, Leader Says
Military cutback contains surprise
"Arguing that the United States needs to be prepared for myriad potential threats despite ending the war in Iraq — and with congressional opposition to military spending cuts likely to be as stiff as ever — the Pentagon's request calls for an increase in its base budget by $36 billion over the next five years."
Ford hit by commodity costs, international woes
If The Economy Is Improving….
Federal agency sounds alarm on American Airlines' pensions
EPA Rejects Palm-Oil Based Biodiesel for Renewable Fuels Program
GDP on Recession Track; Real GDP +2.8%, Misses Estimates; Inventory Replenishment Accounts for 1.9 Percentage Points; Five-Year Treasury Yield Hits Record Low
Retirement in America is 'endangered'
New Yorkers Face "Downward Mobility"
Subculture of Americans prepares for civilization's collapse
Late-night power outage causes another Metro meltdown
Is Newt Gingrich's space plan science fiction?
Yes. Nobody with half a brain is taking this plan seriously. -- RF

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