Monday, January 30, 2012


News Links, January 31, 2012

## Global economic meltdown ##
World lacks enough food, fuel as population soars: U.N.
"The world is running out of time to make sure there is enough food, water and energy to meet the needs of a rapidly growing population and to avoid sending up to 3 billion people into poverty, a U.N. report warned on Monday."
Portugal's Debt Will Be Restructured; 3-Year Government Bond Yield Tops 25%; CDS at Record High, Implies 72% Chance of Default
At E.U. Meeting, Countries Expected To Agree That Austerity Is Not Enough
Greek Bondholders May Face 70% 'Haircut': Source
As Europe Goes (Deep In Recession), So Does Half The World's Trade
Euro-Area Debt Sales Top $43 Billion This Week as Fitch Cuts
Brussels Hit by First Coordinated Strike in Nearly Two Decades; Spain to Miss Deficit Reduction Goals; France Halved 2012 Growth Forecast to 0.5 Percent; Ten Things to Expect in Europe
France cuts 2012 growth forecast
A challenging year ahead for Asian cargo
Will gold extend its gains for 12th straight year?
Money From MF Global Feared Gone
Dubai hotel owners look to listing sites to offload assets
"Dubai hotel owners are increasingly turning to listings websites to source potential buyers for their properties as they struggle to offload assets in the city's glutted hospitality market."

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Activists: Assad's forces regain Damascus suburbs
Syria says 'terrorists' blow up gas pipeline
African Union embraces generous Chinese financing
Saudis may seek nuclear deterrent
"The arrival yesterday of a senior United Nations team in Tehran has raised hopes that Iran may be in the mood to talk about its nuclear program. But should the Islamic republic develop a nuclear weapon, there are growing fears that neighbouring Saudi Arabia will turn to Pakistan for its own bomb."
Sudan frees South Sudan's oil tankers; row continues
Third Aircraft Carrier Group Coming To Iran
Organized crime sets its sights on peaceful Uruguay
Glitzy new AU headquarters a symbol of China-Africa ties
"Critics point to an imbalance in what they see as the new 'Scramble for Africa'. But the prospect of growing Chinese economic influence is welcomed by African leaders, who see Beijing as a partner to help build their economies at a time when Europe and the United States are mired in economic turmoil."
U.S. Maintains Full Control of Turkish-Based Radar
India, Malaysia Seek Closer Military Ties
"As part of its 'Look East' policy, India has been increasing strategic ties with countries such as Singapore, Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia."
Iraqi officials outraged by use of US drones: report

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Occupy London Moves Into Iraqi Rafidain Bank After UBS Eviction
Occupy Oakland arrests reach 400; City Hall vandalized
Occupy DC defies Monday noon eviction deadline
Police begin clearing Occupy DC, Charlotte sites
Truckers to protest over diesel and fuel prices (Ireland)
Tibetan unrest in China near boiling point

## Energy/resources ##
China, Japan scramble for oil as Sudan shuts fields
"The shutdown in Sudanese oil supply could drive up already record premiums on spot crude markets as top Sudan customers China and Japan scramble for alternatives even as they weigh the impact on oil flows of international sanctions on Iran."
Asians Resist Notion Of Iran Oil Cuts
"Several Asian countries are expressing an unwillingness to join the United States and Europe Union in blocking oil imports from Iran in order to pressure Tehran over its disputed nuclear program."
OPEC says EU ban on Iran oil to boost prices
The Petroplus failure is just the tip of the iceberg in the oil sector
Gazprom Premium Swells as Embargo Boosts Crude: Russia Overnight
Saudi to lead rental power generation
"Saudi Arabia will lead the Middle East in the demand for rental power generators, a generator manufacturer has said, as it predicted a 20 per cent growth for the industry in 2012."
This will create still more upward pressure on diesel fuel prices. -- RF
Global Oil Production Update: A Strange Future Has Arrived (Gregor Macdonald)
Extending French reactors would cost least -report
The only way nuclear could be "cheaper" is by leaving out the astronomical backend costs. -- RF
On Again, off Again Trans-Afghan Natural Gas Pipeline Revives
Europe's refiners fall on hard times (FT)
Lahore faces acute fuel shortage
PSALM to start bidding out four power barges (Philippines)
They're diesel-powered! -- RF
South Africa Says 2012 Is Peak For Energy Shortage Risks

## Got food? ##
Extreme Heat Hurts Wheat Yields As World Warms: Study

## Environment/health ##
Could mysterious nodding disease in Africa have global implications?
Deaths in Ukraine and Poland in freezing Europe weather

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Secretary Napolitano Unveils National Strategy for Global Supply Chain Security
CIA Claims Publication of Bin Laden Death Photos Would 'Trigger Violence'
Hey Judicial Watch, give it a rest. This drama has been Theater of the Absurd from the get-go. OBL suffered long from kidney failure, and the former head of the Pakistani ISI has stated that OBL died of illness years ago. The compound where OBL supposedly lived included nothing among its meds for someone with kidney failure, and there was no dialysis machine. The most absurd claim of all is that OBL lived in the village for years without anyone knowing. What a laugh! Anyone who has lived in a village society knows that in such a society anonymity and secrets are impossible. -- RF
Airline passengers hit by computer crash
Indefinite detention and torture: US already enforcing NDAA
Say NO to ACTA (video)

## Japan ##
Japan's population faces dramatic decline
A 30% decline by 2060... but economic collapse and mass starvation will come long before that. -- RF
Japanese Steelmaker Forecasts First Net Loss
China protests Japan's plan to name disputed islands
TV makers see shakeout approaching
Toyota's global sales hit a bump / March 11 disaster, strong yen knock automaker from top spot in 2011
Kyushu Elec to restart oil-fired unit in May
"Southern Japan utility Kyushu Electric Power Co said on Monday it would restart an oil-powered unit that it had planned to scrap, to help cover the closure of its nuclear capacity for maintenance."
Oil-fired plants run on fuel oil, but note that the utility is also going to install diesel generators. Add this to the quickly growing diesel-fueled "rental power" throughout the world. -- RF

## China ##
Funds face tougher conditions in 2012
China fuel prices hit trigger point for a hike
"The increase in crude oil prices that China's gasoline and diesel prices are based on has topped a trigger point of 4 percent, an industry estimate showed, suggesting Beijing may consider raising fuel prices after its last hike in April."
Chinese Buying Gold "Like Cheap Cabbage"
China premier downplays debt woes
"China's government debt is under control and remains at safe levels, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in comments released Monday, even as the National Audit Office highlighted potential risks for financial sectors this year."

## UK ##
Missiles, spy drones and warships: Here come the London Olympics
Britain braced for Arctic winds

## US ##
Reactor at Illinois nuke plant shuts down after power loss
"Unit 2 at the Byron plant, about two hours northwest of Chicago, shut down automatically after a 'loss of offsite power' at 10:18 a.m. CT (11:18 ET), the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission reported. Unit 1 continues to operate at full power, with diesel generators providing electricity to the plant's equipment."
USW tells U.S. refinery workers to prepare for strike
"The United Steelworkers union told U.S. refinery workers to prepare to offer safe and orderly refinery shutdowns prior to a strike that could begin as early as 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, sources familiar with the union's preparations said on Sunday."
Why the American dream could come to an end
Why Even 20-Somethings Are Worried About Retirement
"Young American workers are not expecting Social Security or traditional corporate pensions to provide for their retirement."
Most Banks Tightening Credit to Europe: Fed Survey
Big Banks Facing Tough Long-Term Future: Analyst
Cyber and space systems top Defense tech priorities
Most Metra riders will pay 30% more starting Wednesday (Chicago)
U.S. consumers fizzle out even as incomes rise
Home prices fall again
Newt's moon colony: What would it cost?

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