Wednesday, February 01, 2012


News Links, February 2, 2012

## Global economic meltdown ##
Mexico's Illicit Economy Is Worth $50 Billion Per Year
Brisbane Paces Australia-Wide Home Price Decline With 6.8% Slide in 2011
Economic Data Signal Two-Speed Europe
Eurozone manufacturing slowed in January
"Manufacturing activity in the eurozone contracted in January for the fifth consecutive month, research firm Markit Economics said Wednesday."
Fitch: Negative Outlook for Indian Shipping Sector in 2012
Japanese Lines' Container Losses Top $500 Million
"Japanese carriers NYK, MOL and "K" Line's posted combined losses of more than $500 million on container operations in the last quarter of 2011 and warned that group-wide losses for their current fiscal years will be larger than previously forecast."
Commodity-Ship Rates Have Worst Start to Year Since 1985
Coal-Carrier Rates Seen at Decade-Low as Glut Expands: Freight
"The greatest number of coal cargoes in history still won't be enough to eliminate a glut of Panamax vessels, driving charter rates to the lowest in a decade."
Esprit to Close All Stores in Unprofitable North America
"Esprit Holdings Ltd., the clothing retailer struggling to recover from last year's 98 percent earnings slump, plans to close all stores in North America after failing to find a buyer for the unprofitable business."
Economists say budget cuts risk more harm as Canadian economy shrinks
Gold headed for the biggest monthly gain of the century
What is Germany's real unemployment rate?
Gross Says Witnessing Death of Abundance, Birth of Austerity

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
EU's Iran oil ban weighs on ship insurance market
How have these sanctions backfired? Let me count the ways... -- RF
South Korea, Japan want U.S. to detail Iran sanctions
"Japan and South Korea will soon meet U.S. officials in Washington to ask how much oil they can import from Iran under new sanctions that leave the Asian nations with few alternative sources for energy, government officials said on Feb. 1."
Iraq becomes dollar source for sanctions-hit Iran, Syria
Mossad chief held talks on Iran in US visit: CIA
Rival Libyan militias fight gunbattle in capital
"Rival militias fought a two-hour gunbattle over a luxury beach house being used as a barracks in the Libyan capital Wednesday, underscoring how volatile the country is following the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi."
Taliban 'poised to retake Afghanistan' after NATO pullout: report
Quietly, NATO Hints It Could Leave Afghanistan Faster
Panetta Sees End Of U.S. 'Combat Role' In Afghanistan Next Year
Russia in UN showdown over Syria 'killing machine'
India bracing for limited conflict with pushy China, says top US intel official
Alternate routes for Nato supplies may come under attack: experts
"ISLAMABAD: Pakistani security experts believe that supply of lethal Nato cargo through alternate routes could expose the Central Asian States to terrorist attacks. At present, cargo supplied mainly through Pakistan is regularly attacked by the Taliban."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Video Proof of Unjust Mass Arrest and Media Spin at Occupy Oakland 1/28/12
Cops break up Occupy Miami
Occupy Wellington protesters arrested
China says separatists sparked violence in Sichuan
Unrest weighs on Bahrain economy's recovery
"Bahrain's economy is rebounding on the back of heavy government spending and support from its neighbors, but a full recovery may be out of reach if anti-government protests continue."

## Energy/resources ##
Energy Ministry warns of electricity blackouts (Israel)
"The Ministry of Energy and Water Resources today warned that the lack of electricity production reserves during peak hours this winter could force Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) to initiate blackouts. The ministry is asking the public to refrain from using high energy consuming appliances between 5 and 9 pm 'to prevent a situation in which it will not be possible to supply electricity.'"
Empty pumps fuel anger (South Africa)
"Emotions ran high yesterday as frustrated and angered motorists scrambled to fill up their tanks while some filling stations countrywide ran out of petrol."
Rare metals shortage could threaten high-tech innovation
GE Sees More Casualties In Wind And Solar
"General Electric Co. expects increased competition and a reduction in subsidies by cash-strapped governments to lead to more companies exiting the wind and solar power businesses, but the industrial behemoth still sees growing long-term demand."
Eskom: Risk of failure without savings (South Africa)
"Power station managers regularly asked Dames when they could take some of their units offline, as if they did not carry out maintenance, there was a risk of catastrophic failure due to the system being overly stressed."
Facebook's Oregon Data Center Uses As Much Power As The Entire County It's In
Oil Rich Venezuela's Electricity Shortfalls Lose Economy $80 Billion
Energy unity needed, Oettinger says
China flirts with Israel amid gulf crisis
"China, contemplating the possible disruption of oil supplies from Iran, appears to be making moves toward cementing its links with energy newcomer Israel, a move that could outflank the United States in the Middle East."
The Most Important Resource for Our Future: Inexpensive Oil
Unfortunately, there isn't any. -- RF
Growing dependence on rental power
Long-term shortage blamed for dry pumps (South Africa)
Indian power firms look offshore as coal shortages worsen

## Infrastructure scavenging ##
San Francisco's rubbish - why everyone wants a share

## Got food? ##
Canada Ethanol Policy Hurts Livestock Farmers: Report
"Ethanol production has boosted the prices of grains that Canadian farmers buy to raise cattle and pigs, and Ottawa should curb or eliminate its support for the industry, an agriculture research organization said on Tuesday."

## Environment/health ##
More Than 60 Dead In East European Cold Snap
€169 Billion: The Cost of Industrial Air Pollution to Europe in 2009
Big freeze death toll rises in Eastern Europe
Uganda People News: Water shortage as dry season spreads
Australia culls ducks in bid to stop bird flu outbreak

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Amadeus outage hit other GDSs as airline systems crashed
nTelos Wireless Experiences Network Outages
Another Greek Crisis: A Drug Shortage
"In crisis-wracked Greece, even finding aspirin can be a pain. The Panhellenic Association of Pharmacists says Greece is running short of almost half its 500 most-used drugs."
Your cell phone is a government issued tracking device
Cyber Attack on U.S. Power Grid Seen Leaving Millions in Dark for Months
Remember: It's just 96 hours to the Stone Age. -- RF

## Censorship ##
Google to Censor Blogger Blogs on a 'Per Country Basis'
'Gasland' Journalists Arrested At Hearing By Order Of House Republicans
Thailand backs Twitter censorship

## Japan ##
Exxon Mobil Sells Japanese Refining Company for $3.9 Billion
Real GDP Grew 0.8% In Dec: JCER
Japan job treadmill grinds down workers and firms
Daiwa, Mizuho to cut more jobs
"Daiwa Securities Group Inc. and Mizuho Securities Co. said Tuesday they will cut more jobs as their earnings continue to plunge amid the European sovereign debt crisis."
Dismal TV Market Hammers Consumer Electronics Firms
Japan protests to China over undersea gas drilling
Fuel costs put four utilities in the red
"Four of the six power utilities that released their earnings results Tuesday fell into the red for the April-December period due to higher fuel costs for thermal power generation."
8.5 tons of radioactive water leak from Fukushima plant
Restarting nuclear reactors faces opposition from local residents
51 deaths laid to blizzards; more snow forecast

## China ##
Hong Kong Homes Face 25% Drop in Year of the Dragon: Mortgages
Hong Kong Expects Slower Growth, Unveils Relief Plan
"Hong Kong Financial Secretary John Tsang unveiled 80 billion Hong Kong dollars (US$10.32 billion) worth of relief and stimulus measures in his final budget Wednesday, aiming to help middle-class and low-income residents struggling with a slowing economy and gloomy global outlook."

## UK ##
Oil shortage at troubled refinery
Eurozone debt crisis threatens UK economy, says think-tank

## US ##
Home prices decline for third consecutive month
AMR expects to slash about 13,000 jobs
19 Crazy Things That School Children Are Being Arrested For In America
The Downside of N. Dakota's Oil Boom
Obama Releases Details on His Plan to Bail Out Banks, Fannie Mae, Hedge Funds, Wall Street, Fixing MERS and Screwing Taxpayers at Same Time; Key Aspects of Plan as Presented vs. Reality
Constitutional Work Around: New Jersey Legislators Move to Ban Ammunition
"While the second amendment protects our right to bear arms, some anti-gun advocates think they may have found a loophole. This afternoon the New Jersey Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee is set to consider two bills (Assembly Bill 588 and Assembly Bill 1013) that would essentially ban all handgun ammunition in the state, as well as some (or potentially all) rifle ammunition."
Working Poor: Almost Half Of U.S. Households Live One Crisis From The Bread Line

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