Thursday, February 16, 2012

 

News Links, February 17, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Moody's warns may downgrade 17 global banks, securities firms
Gold Demand Hits New Records as Europeans Stockpile
Hey, they're supposed to be putting their nest eggs in stocks and bonds to express their confidence in the economic system! -- RF
European Car Sales Plunge: Portugal -47.4%, France -20.7%, Italy -16.9%
Thailand May Say Economy Shrank After Flooding Shut Honda, Canon Factories
While You Were Sleeping, Central Banks Flooded The World In Liquidity
Overcapacity may sink container shipping rate hikes
Dry-Bulk Shipping Conditions Likely to Weaken, Platou Says
Ontario report urges tough austerity to tame debt
China Seen Overtaking India As Top Gold Buyer
Qantas to cut 500 jobs, scrap some flights
The ghost towns of Spain: Images that are desolate symbols of collapsed property market
"With its empty streets, bricked-up shops and deserted playgrounds, the sprawling residential development of Sesena has become a ghost town and a desolate symbol of the collapse of Spain's property market."
Gas Prices and the Global Airlines Industry
Kingfisher Airlines Posts Wider Loss on India Fuel Costs
Jet fuel price dogs Qantas

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
New Coalition in Pakistan Demands Break With US
Iran cargo ships operating in EU despite sanctions
Iran Unlikely to Strike First, U.S. Official Says
Israel Shouldn't Act Alone on Iran, Panetta, De Maiziere Say
"U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and German Defense Minister Thomas De Maiziere urged Israel to coordinate its decisions on Iran with allies rather than pursuing military action on its own."
Analysis: New China landing vessels point to Pacific rivalry
Drone-makers target Asia for growth
Iran to Europe: Want oil? Meet these demands.
Russia opposes new U.N. resolution on Syria
"Russia opposes a draft resolution on Syria at the U.N. General Assembly, saying it focuses entirely on Bashar Assad's regime and fails to address the armed opposition, a top Russian diplomat said Thursday."
Federal prison stormed in Nigeria
NATO to Spend 3 Billion Euros on Global Hawk Program
Cuts to US Baghdad Embassy Amount to 'Fine Tuning'

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Non-payment of salaries: police baton-charge protesting LHWs
"Police resorted to tear gassing and baton-charge to disperse the Lady Health Workers (LHW) protesting against non-provision of their salaries and regularisation of services outside Karachi Press Club here on Wednesday."
Sri Lankan police clash with cost-of-living protesters (+ photos)
China takes control of Tibetan monasteries to put down unrest
Poverty fueling unrest in Nigeria's Kano, says report
Frankfurt airport set for more disruption on strike
"Airlines including Deutsche Lufthansa will have to cancel hundreds more flights to and from Frankfurt on Friday as a strike by airfield workers continues at the airport, Europe's third-largest hub."

## Energy/resources ##
Electric Corp scrambling to buy turbines to avert blackouts (Israel)
"There is a real danger of power blackouts this summer, Energy and Water Resources Minister Uzi Landau warned yesterday at a press conference, as his ministry launched a controversial project to tackle the anticipated electricity shortages that includes buying new turbines."
Israel facing its worst electricity shortage
"Israel is facing the worst electricity shortage since its founding, a shortage that will peak this summer, the Water and Energy Ministry said Wednesday."
A 'power'less summer (India)
Beating History: Why Today's Rising Powers Can't Copy the West (Hint: Cheap energy)
Electricity dealers put grid on brink of blackout (Germany)
"Germany's electricity grid came to the brink of blackout last week – not because of the cold, but because traders illegally manipulated the system. They tapped emergency supplies, saving money but putting the system at risk of collapse."
Rolling blackouts a possibility (Greece)
"The country's electrical grid has been in a state of high alert since Wednesday afternoon, owing to the risk of a blackout at any moment."
World Energy Consumption - Beyond 500 Exajoules
The Fight of the Century (Richard Heinberg)
"As the world economy crashes against debt and resource limits, more and more countries are responding by attempting to salvage what are actually their most expendable features—corrupt, insolvent banks and bloated militaries—while leaving the majority of their people to languish in 'austerity.' The result, predictably, is a global uprising. This current set of conditions and responses will lead, sooner or later, to social as well as economic upheaval—and a collapse of the support infrastructure on which billions depend for their very survival."
Ethanol mandates could be costly misstep
Russian oil pipline plans to bypass Ukraine
NTPC Chairman Says Gas Shortage Hurting Power Production (India)
"NTPC Ltd.'s (532555.BY) gas-based power stations are operating at 60% of capacity due to fuel shortages, its chairman said Thursday."
Gas Rush (Trinidad)
"Despite assurances from Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine, the National Petroleum Company (NP) and Petrotrin that there would be no shortage, panic-buying motorists purchased all the fuel at most service stations in South and Central Trinidad on Tuesday."
Nigeria Fuel Shortage
"In the third largest oil producing state, most commuters and motorists are being left stranded due to a severe fuel shortage."

## Got food? ##
Price hike forced families to cut food intake: report
"Over one-third of families in Pakistan are forced to slash their food budget because of increasing food prices and financial problems, and up to 35 per cent of deaths in children below five years of age occur because of food shortage."
Global food demand to triple by 2050 : GIA
Guide to Self-Sufficient Living: Advice From Nine Modern Homesteaders

## Environment/health ##
States Gear Up Coastal and Environmental Conservation Initiatives as Studies Indicate Increasing Frequency of Intense Storms, Storm Surges
Bill Gates Supports Controversial Climate Change Plan
"With the help of a group of very wealthy and well known individuals, including Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Chairman of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson, a group of leading climate scientists are advocating for the use of controversial geoengineering as a way to prevent catastrophic climate change."
The EU's Emissions Trading System Isn't Working
"Emissions trading, the European Union hoped, would limit the release of harmful greenhouse gases. But it isn't working. The price for emissions certificates has plunged, a development that is actually making coal more attractive than renewable energy."
Tighten fracking regulations, scientists urge US officials
Health, water crisis in Gaza due to power failure

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Hackers claim attack on American tear gas company
"A U.S. security company whose tear gas has been used against Egyptian demonstrators has become the latest victim of the Anonymous movement, hackers claimed Tuesday."

## Japan ##
Massive levels of radioactive cesium detected at quarry near Fukushima plant
Economy at a standstill
Nonlife insurance firms suffer big losses from April to December
Industrial revival claims ring hollow as makers flee Japan
As Export Contracts Plunge, Shipbuilders Gird For Long Slump
"TOKYO (Nikkei)--Japan's shipbuilding industry received export orders for 13 vessels totaling just 651,000 tons in January, according to monthly statistics issued by the Japan Ship Exporters' Association.
"This represents a 56.7% drop from a year earlier as measured by gross tonnage and marks the second month in a row that export contracts have declined."
Fukushima evacuees losing hope of homecoming
Debate stirring over effects of nuclear-free summer
More local govts seek power bids / Prefectures, municipalities seek to avoid higher burden of TEPCO rate hike
Japan's nuclear generation capacity to fall to 4.6% over two units Feb 20
"Japan's combined nuclear generation capacity is set to fall to 2.268 GW over two nuclear reactors on February 20, as Kansai Electric is scheduled to shut the 870 MW No. 3 reactor at its Takahama nuclear power plant in western Japan that day, Platts calculations showed Thursday."

## China ##
Tighter restrictions dent Beijing housing sales
"Beijing saw housing sales plummet by 132,600 units between Feb 16, 2011 and Feb 15, 2012, compared with the same period of the previous year, the National Business Daily reported Thursday, citing figures published by the Beijing Municipal Commission of Housing and Urban-rural Development."
Rising Pump Prices Follow China Refining Losses: Energy Markets
More water shortages for China?
"The country's water shortages, along with serious river pollution and a deteriorating aquatic ecosystem, pose a growing threat to economic and social development, Hu Siyi, China's vice minister of water resources said Thursday, state-run news agency Xinhua reports."
Is China faking its economic growth?

## UK ##
British tanks to be sent to Germany for storage so army can sell land in UK
Sales down 14 per cent at defence giant BAE

## US ##
Industrial Production unchanged in January, Capacity Utilization declines
$1.4 million cargo theft at Miami airport
"Freightwatch said this was the fourth incident at Miami International in a month, all targeting shipments of consumer electronics."
SCE Begins Plugging Tubes At San Onofre 2 Reactor In Calif
Drug shortages causing rationed care
"Doctors say prescription drug shortages across the country are leading to a rationing of care that can only be rectified by a compete overhaul of the drug manufacturing system."
24% of Small Businesses Not Hiring Because They May Not Be In Business a Year From Now; 76% Simply Don't Need More Employees
Last FEMA trailer leaves New Orleans six years after Katrina
How We Work Now, In America (Gregor Macdonald)
Graph shows precipitous drop in ratio of full-time jobs to part-time jobs. -- RF
Many Of You Will Not Believe Some Of The Things Americans Are Doing Just To Survive
25 Signs That The Nazification Of America Is Almost Complete
Federal Biometric ID Program "Secure Communities" Expands to its 27th State
Car Sharing Picks Up Speed: Should Detroit Be Worried?
5 Reasons We'll See $4-a-Gallon Gas by Memorial Day




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