Tuesday, February 14, 2012


News Links, February 15, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Another day on the planet. The current world empire continues to unravel at breathtaking speed, stock markets have degenerated into pump-and-dump circuses with little connection to the real economy, and governments' bonds are toilet paper. Oh, and did I mention WW III? Have a nice day! -- RF
Moody's warns it may cut AAA-rating for UK and France
Greek, Portuguese Economies Shrink Further
Greece: Economy contracts 7% in fourth quarter
Eurozone ministers cancel meeting on Greece bailout
Greece Will Have `Hard Default,' Gallo Says (Bloomberg video)
China Premier Wen Jiabao vows to help on eurozone debt
But still nothing specific. China just keeps stringing Europe along. -- RF
Toronto Bubble Risk Tops New York in Condos: Mortgages
European End Game: The striking similarity between today's eurozone situation and the end of Bretton Woods. (PDF)
The 10 Countries Deepest in Debt
Hard drive prices to remain high through 2014
World's largest mall set to grow even bigger (Dubai)

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
China says envoy held talks with head of the Arab League over Syria
"Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin reiterated to reporters Tuesday that the problems in Syria should be resolved through negotiations,and that China believes that 'the Syrian issue, in essence, is an internal affair.'"
China's Wen Jiabao: 'No protection' for Syrian government
"Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao says Beijing will 'absolutely not protect any party' in the conflict in Syria."
Syrian residents say they're bracing for full-blown war
Assad's forces attack opposition on fronts across Syria
Conflict flares across Syria, Arabs mull arms support
Opposition reports security clampdown in Tehran
"Iranian security forces deployed in parts of Tehran on Tuesday after opposition figures called on supporters to hit the streets in protest against the year-long house arrest of their leaders, the opposition website Kaleme reported."
U.S. carrier crosses Hormuz amid rising Gulf tensions
"A U.S. aircraft carrier strike group sailed through the Strait of Hormuz Tuesday more than a month after Iran warned a different carrier -- USS John C. Stennis -- not to return to the Gulf as Iranian navy boats sailed by."
Iran Patrol Boats, Drones Shadow CVN-72 Abraham Lincoln As It Passes Through Straits Of Hormuz
Israeli Attack on Iran: Easier Said Than Done
Egypt state press escalates dispute over U.S. NGOs
Pakistan releases U.S. man after "bullets found in baggage"
Iran behind Thailand blasts, claims Israel's Ehud Barak
Israel on alert over bomb attacks
Bahrain receives military equipment from UK despite violent crackdown
Canada Military Extends Reach with German Supply Hub

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Protests Rage Across Europe, Middle East (includes extensive photo gallery)
Rare visit to remote Chinese region shows depth of Tibetan despair
Tyre Protestors Shout Anti-Bassil Slogans Over Severe Power Rationing (Lebanon)
"Several residents of Tyre blocked on Sunday the road at the southern coastal city's entrance to protest electricity cuts but the army later reopened it, the National News Agency reported."
Sinai explodes into violence after years of chronic poverty and alienation
"Egypt's Bedouin accused of looting resorts, bombing pipelines and abducting foreigners in post-Mubarak security vacuum"
Rio police end strike in time for carnival
"Unions in Brazilian city vote to end protest over pay, but pledge to 'renew demands' once annual street party is over."
Bahrain set for fresh protests on revolt anniversary

## Energy/resources ##
Power price jolt on way, new report says (Canada)
"Canadian power users should brace for higher electricity prices in the coming years as the country's utilities are forced to spend billions of dollars just to keep the lights on."
Damascus in the dark: Powerless without power
In the Pipeline: Peak oil unable to avert energy crunch
French Nuclear Anxieties Soar After Fukushima
Hungary's needy given money to burn (literally) (video)
In France, Drivers Face Gas Prices Of $8 A Gallon
Exxon barred from Iraqi oil, gas auction
Romania struggles to meet power demand
"Freezing weather pushes up household consumption, forcing nation to limit power supplies to industries and halt export."
Indian refiners seek 3 million barrels extra Saudi oil

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
Swansea surgeon condemns cable thefts which hit three hospitals
"A senior surgeon has criticised cable thieves after hospital computer systems were hit by an incident in Swansea."
Council spends £40k to replace stolen manhole covers
Combating Copper Theft in Fresno
"They say approximately $75,000 every month is lost due to copper wire theft. There are about 41,000 streetlights in the city and 4,000 are currently out."

## Got food? ##
Global suicide 2020: We can't feed 10 billion
"In fact, the Pentagon has already warned our team that by 2020, the planet's 'carrying capacity' will be so drastically compromised that they are already preparing military defense systems for the coming 'all-out wars over food, water, and energy supplies.'"
Seed Starting Made Simple
USDA Sees Corn Stocks Double Next Year
Corn needs plenty of fertilizers, whose prices are now "ridiculous." And diesel fuel just keeps getting more expensive. Water tables are dropping. How much longer for the US food export machine? -- RF
Feds shut down Amish farm for selling fresh milk

## Environment/health ##
28 cancer medications in dangerously short supply (US)
Snow, ice bury the Balkans
"Snow as deep as 15 feet isolated areas in Romania, Moldova and Albania on Tuesday and turned a power plant in Kosovo into a park of dazzling ice sculptures."
Deep-sea temperature up 0.02 degree every decade

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
The Final Tipping Point: Sheeple Meet Cliff (Financial Sense)
"Social scientists revealed that with herds it only takes 5 percent of the herd to create a 'social tipping point'. This 5 percent is actually large enough to nudge the herd in a different direction."
Wired Opinion: Cyberwar Is the New Yellowcake
Bandwidth breakdown: Mobile rates could rise
"The US has more wireless devices than people but without a large increase in bandwidth capacity, networks might crash."

## Japan ##
Elpida debt talks in trouble, future uncertain
"Elpida Memory Inc., Japan's only remaining major DRAM-chip maker, said Tuesday talks to secure capital to ease the company's debt burdens weren't going smoothly, with the revelation raising doubts on Elpida's future."
Thai Floods Sink Japanese Insurers
Japan Central Bank Joins Peers in Opening Spigots
Japan Announces $130 Billion QE Program, One Percent Inflation Target; 4th Quarter GDP Unexpectedly Contracts 2.3%; Lawmakers Threaten to Take Over Monetary Policy (Mish)
BOJ Offers Game Plan For Defeating Deflation (Bank targets 1% inflation)
Environmental group hopes to rival success of Europe's greens

## China ##
PBOC Adviser Says China Slowdown A Certainty
China to spend more on its military than all its neighbours combined as budget doubles
"China's military budget will outstrip the combined defence spending of the rest of the Asia Pacific region over the next five years, causing increased anxiety among its rivals and neigbours, a new report has claimed."

## UK ##
England heading for hosepipe bans after drier winter than 1976 drought
Lloyd's Says Thai Floods May Cost It $2.2B
Households £1,300 poorer despite falling inflation
"The average British household would need to spend almost £1,300 just to maintain the same living standards as a year ago, despite inflation falling to its lowest level for 14 months, economists have warned."

## US ##
Obama Campaign Launches 'Truth Teams'
The US becomes more Orwellian by the day. -- RF
20 Things We Can Learn About The Future Of America From The Death Of Detroit
"Do you want to know what the future of America is going to look like? Just check out what is happening to Detroit."
Empty, foreclosed houses burden cities, neighborhoods
Armageddon at the Strip Mall
Retirees tighten the belt, but still struggle
Post Office closings isolate small towns and poor
Pentagon drafts plans for cuts in U.S. nuclear arsenal
Pentagon May Oust Troops Involuntarily to Meet Reductions in Budget Plan
Ceridian Fuel Index Down 1.7% from December, Down 2.2% from Year Ago; Delay in Trucking Activity or Global Trade Slowdown?
Never before have gas prices risen so high so early in the year
It's Not Just Gasoline Consumption That's Tanking, It's All Energy (Financial Sense)
"It's not just gasoline consumption that's declining--petroleum and electricity consumption are also dropping. Is that indicative of economic growth?"
American Airlines workers protest job, pay cuts
Social Security Is Failing Even Faster Than We Thought
Pensions and retirement: going, going... -- RF

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