Sunday, February 12, 2012


News Links, February 13, 2012

## Global economic meltdown ##
Dollar: Going, Going ...
"The dollar has been the world reserve currency since 1944 and the Keynesian Fabian socialist economic palaver in New Hampshire's White Mountains. They all should have paid more attention to Lord Keynes.
"The situation is now gradually getting desperate, which is proven by America's attempt to isolate Iran financially. An effort by Hillary Clinton to choke Iran's economy by financial blackmail has failed miserably. Iran has concluded trade agreements with India to deal in gold, with Russia to deal in rubles and with China to deal in yuan. Those three, by the way, are Iran's largest by volume trading partners. Other nations that are avoiding the dollar are Venezuela, Cuba and any number of additional South American states."
Israel's motives notwithstanding, the main reason the US is trying to crush Iran is not nukes or human rights or whatever excuse they give (oh yea, there was also the cockamamie story about an Iranian attempt to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the US — I can't stop laughing!), but rather that Iran has become one of the big players in the Global Dollar Dump. In the eyes of the US, this has always been Iran's greatest sin. -- RF
What Greek Austerity Looks Like
US-China trade deficit now largest in world history
Abandoning the U.S. Dollar for Gold
Old Money Helps Spanish Village Stay Afloat
"Some areas in Spain are returning to their former currency to make extra cash during the debt crisis."
Sagging Asian economy to hit Korea's GDP

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
Cargill says it's still supplying Iran with grain
"U.S. agribusiness giant Cargill plans to continue grain shipments to Iran, its vice chairman said, despite signs the Islamic Republic is struggling to process payments as U.S. trade sanctions bite."
Chinese envoy visits Tehran for nuclear talks
U.S. admiral says forces prepared to confront Iran
"The top U.S. Navy official in the Persian Gulf says he takes Iran's military capabilities seriously but insists his forces are prepared to confront any Iranian aggression in the region."
Report: Israeli military strapped for cash
"Israel's military budget is short of about $1 billion and defense operations will have to be scaled back, officials said Sunday.
"A budget analysis said the air force would have to ground many of its planes this year and the production of anti-missile systems would likely stop, Haaretz reported."
Hundreds in Israeli jails join hunger strike
Chinese patrol vessels spotted near Senkaku Islands
U.S. Drone Strikes 'Counterproductive': Pakistani PM
Syria's slide towards civil war
Arab League backs Syria opposition, calls for peacekeepers
Spate of attacks reported in Iraq

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Group says teenage Tibetan nun sets herself on fire in west China in latest self-immolation
Riots spread across Athens, at least 10 buildings set ablaze
Clashes in Bahrain, king mocks opponents' "bad manners"
"Bahraini riot police engaged in pitched battles with petrol-bomb throwing youths on Sunday as violence escalated ahead of the February 14 anniversary of an uprising last year, while King Hamad mocked the opposition for its 'bad manners.'"
Maldives: islanders suffer the effects of brutal police repression
Spain: arrests at anti-labor market reform protest
"Nine people were arrested early Saturday after scuffles broke out between police and protesters after the government approved sweeping labor market reforms aimed at reviving Spain's ailing economy."

## Energy/resources ##
Fuel prices soar, relief promised (Sri Lanka)
Grid blackout threat weighs on renewables take-up
This miracle material could drive the next tech revolution
Amazing new technologies babble babble unlimited energy babble babble moon colony babble babble...

## Got food? ##
Care to downsize that order? Many want smaller portions

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
KDDI suffers two major network outages (Japan; article in Japanese)
Japanese telecommunications giant KDDI recently had two major cellphone network disruptions. The first, on February 9, lasted somewhat over an hour and affected up to 1.3 million users. The second, on the night of February 11, lasted over three hours and affected up to 6.15 million users. (Summary by RF)

## Japan ##
Fukushima reactor readings raise reheating concern
Flu outbreak hits more than 2.11 million nationwide
State could gain control over TEPCO through voting rights
Japan GDP On Tap For Monday
Preliminary reports indicate GDP down 0.6% in Q4, 2.3% down for year. -- RF

## China ##
China Instructs Banks to Roll Over $1.7 Trillion in Debt to Avoid Mass Default (Mish)
"Most of these loans will never be paid back. Eventually China will just print money to make the banks solvent."

## US ##
Harrisburg recovery plan keeps bankruptcy option on the table, calls for chief operating officer
Bankruptcy for Detroit?
Drones roam skies of US cities (video)
Another hot summer could prompt power outages (Texas)
Universities are bringing Occupy into the classroom
U.S. gasoline price rises to $3.51/gallon: survey
Press-free NATO summit? Filming cops on the street illegal in Chicago

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