Monday, February 20, 2012


News Links, February 21, 2012

## Global Ponzi meltdown/House of Cards ##
Second Greek bailout in reach despite funding gaps
They are still doing this dance, even though the music has long since stopped. -- RF
A country in decay: Greece's youth pay bitter price for the wisdom of their elders
Why Greece Must Exit the Eurozone, How it Will Happen (and Why Portugal and Spain Will Follow); Does the Euro Act Like a Gold Standard? (Mish)
Portugal signals need for loan extension
Recession Looms as Growth Slows in Developed Countries
"Economic growth in developed economies almost ground to a halt in the last three months of 2011, with the U.S. driving what growth there was, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)."
BRICs No Safe Haven From Western Doom: Study
Italy Finally Admits Recession
Air Australia: "You Should Make Other Travel Arrangements"
Australia's Bluescope Steel posts $570M loss
Thailand 4Q Seasonally Adjusted GDP -10.7% On Quarter; Poll -8.3%
Emerging Asia Demand for Gold
Baltic Dry Index to Recover From Lows: Expert
Any "recovery" will be temporary, as the overall trend is DOWN. -- RF

## Fault lines/flashpoints/powder kegs/military/war drums ##
South Korea begins military drills despite North Korea's threat to attack
Report: U.S. officials say Israel would need at least 100 planes to strike Iran
China rebukes Iran for France, UK oil ban
Iran finds new oil customers
Iran threatens to extend oil embargo
"Iran has warned it may extend an oil embargo imposed on Britain and France to other European countries, and launched a military exercise to strengthen key nuclear sites against air strikes as a team of UN inspectors arrived in the country."
Iranian ships reach Syria, Assad allies show support
"Russia, China and Iran showed support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday, days before an international meeting likely to pile more pressure on him to step down in the face of an increasingly bloody uprising."
Zetas plotted with Mexican prison guards in escape
Tel Aviv to get missile interceptor system: army
Israelis fear homefront vulnerable to Iranian attacks
"Despite its confident saber-rattling, Israel's concern is growing that the country is vulnerable to a devastating counterstrike if it attacks Iran's nuclear program."
Israel 'Will Make Own Decision' on Attacking Iran
Fearing West, Putin pledges biggest military buildup since cold war
Japan says its coast guard was ordered by Chinese ship to halt marine survey
Possible Canadian Logistics Hub in Germany Opposed
"Canadian plans to set up a logistics hub at the German Köln Bonn Airport, announced by Canadian Defense Minister Peter MacKay during a Feb. 14 visit to Ottawa by his German counterpart, Thomas de Maizière, have been rejected."

## Global unrest/mob rule/angry people/torches and pitchforks ##
Arab Spring 'will reach every Arab state' – Prince Alwaleed
Gas shortage: Angry protesters block Airport Road for over 3 hours (Pakistan)
Bahrain police disperse march with water cannon
"Bahraini police used water cannon and tear gas to break up a march chanting anti-government slogans after a funeral Monday, while protesters were arrested for approaching a roundabout at the center of an uprising last year."
Saudi Arabia vows to end violence with "iron fist"
"Saudi Arabia's Interior Ministry said on Monday its security forces would use "an iron fist" to end violence in a Shi'ite Muslim area of the country and defended its tactics against what it called foreign-backed troublemakers."

## Energy/resources ##
Brent hits 8-mth top above $121 after Iran, China moves
Oil Jumps to 9-Month High After Iran Cuts Supply
"Oil prices jumped to a nine-month high near $105 a barrel Monday in Asia after Iran said it halted crude exports to Britain and France in an escalation of a dispute over the Middle Eastern country's nuclear program."
Asia taking lion's share of Iranian oil exports
Land Wars: Indonesia Unrest Shows Risks of Resource-Led Growth
Why Algal Biofuels May Never Hold the Key to the Future
"The depletion of world rock phosphate reserves will restrict the amount of food that can be grown, a situation that can only be compounded by the production of biofuels, including the potential large-scale generation of diesel from algae."
Pakistan keen on Iranian gas pipeline
Russian Oil Boom's End Means Lower Tax Haul
"Russia's 12-year oil boom is nearing its peak, forcing the next president to decide whether to cut taxes and revive production or use the windfall from $100 oil to boost public spending and quell mounting unrest."
First Solar to reduce hours for 1,200 workers at Frankfurt (Oder) PV factory
Industrial city planned in north (Saudi Arabia)
India's nuclear reactors are highly secure: AEC
India can't even keep the lights on. How can they guarantee off-site power to nuke plants? -- RF

## Got food? ##
South Sudan: Worsening Food Crisis

## Environment/health ##
Humanity's Growing Impact on the World's Freshwater

## Intelligence/security/internet/systemic breakdown ##
Online surveillance bill opens door for Big Brother (Canada)
Senators Ramp Up Fear Mongering To Try To Rush Through Cybersecurity Bill (US)

## Japan ##
Japan logs record trade deficit in January
S&P Affirms Japan's AA- Credit Rating With Negative Outlook
Japan's record trade deficit highlights weakening Chinese demand
KEPCO shuts down nuclear reactor
"There are now only two nuclear reactors operational in Japan—one at TEPCO's Kashiwazaki-Kariwa plant in Niigata and one at the Tomari plant in northern Hokkaido.
"Those two units are expected to be closed down for inspection by late April."
Fukushima residents exposed to up to 23 millisieverts of radiation
Cesium in Tokyo Bay focus of new study

## China ##
China's Real Estate Market Is Getting Weaker And Weaker

## UK ##
Experts fear diseases 'impossible to treat'
Drought declared in south-east England
Rising bills leave poor families £450 a year short
"Rising energy prices have left the poorest families £450 short of being able to adequately heat their homes, a report reveals today. Meanwhile the big freeze in the past two weeks has cost each household in the UK an extra £77 in heating costs."

## US ##
Disability Fraud Holds Down Unemployment Rate; Jobless Disability Claims Hit Record $200B in January
Colorado may follow Utah's lead in gold, silver currency

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